The city has seen a dramatic drop in 911 emergency medical calls following a “major uptick” amid the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday as he announced that hospital admissions for suspected COVID-19 are down.
“We’ve seen a rebound. We’ve really seen a big improvement, still a lot to do,” de Blasio said regarding the number of 911 calls during a conference call with reporters.
The mayor said that 911 calls in the Big Apple for medical emergencies peaked on Mar. 30 with a total of 6,527 calls in one day.
“Never seen anything like that,” de Blasio said.
By this past Saturday, the number of 911 calls was nearly half that — at 3,485, according to the mayor, who added that the average number of 911 calls on a typical day last year was 4,196.
“Thank God that number has come down,” he said.
De Blasio also said that EMS response times for serious medical emergencies was also trending downward.
The average response time for March was just over 10 minutes, while the average so far in April was 8 minutes and 46 seconds, de Blasio said, adding that on Saturday the response time was even lower at 6 minutes and 43 seconds. Responders in some areas have struggled to get to the scene quickly amid a flurry of emergency calls.
The amount of FDNY personnel on sick leave has also declined.
Currently 12.8 percent of FDNY firefighters are on sick leave, which is down from 17 percent at the peak of the coronavirus crisis, while 17.5 percent of EMS workers are on sick leave – down from 25 percent at the peak of the pandemic, the mayor said.
Meanwhile, de Blasio also announced some more good news in the city’s battle against coronavirus, saying that hospitalizations for suspected COVID-19 have dropped.
Patients admitted to hospitals for the suspected bug went down from 317 on Friday to 212 on Saturday.
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“That’s a really good drop,” de Blasio said.
Some people have begun refusing to be taken to the hospital, however, amid fears they’ll catch the COVID-19 bug there.
However, there was a slight increase in the number of people in ICUs for suspected coronavirus across the city’s public hospital system from 849 on Friday to 853 on Saturday.
“It’s a very, very small increase,” the mayor noted.
The percentage of people tested who are positive for coronavirus also plunged citywide from 38 percent Friday to 34 percent Saturday, according to de Blasio.
“This is not a perfect daily report, but it’s getting better and it’s damn close to what we’re looking for,” Hizzoner said. “Let’s see if we can keep pushing.”