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CBS News producer, 54, is one of the 678 New Yorkers killed by coronavirus as one person in the city dies every 8.9 minutes - but Cuomo says NOTHING changes after Trump backed down on quarantine

CBS News producer, 54, dies from coronavirus

  • CBS announced the loss of Maria Mercader, 54, who died from COVID-19 on Sunday in a New York hospital
  • Mercader had been on medical leave for an unrelated matter since the last week in February, CBS said    
  • Gov Andrew Cuomo announced that New York City's death toll climbed to 678 as of Sunday afternoon
  • He said the number of confirmed cases increased by 7,000 overnight, bringing the state's total to 59,000  
  • In New York City alone, there are more than 33,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, the governor said Sunday 
  • Cuomo also assured New Yorkers that nothing has changed after Trump considered quarantining the state
  • Instead, Trump issued a travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Saturday evening  

A CBS News producer died from COVID-19 on Sunday as New York City's death toll climbed to 678.

CBS announced the loss of their 'beloved' CBS News colleague Maria Mercader, in a statement shared on Twitter. 

The 54-year-old Emmy winner died from COVID-19 while being treated at a New York hospital. Mercader, who worked for CBS for nearly three decades, had been on medical leave for an unrelated matter since the last week in February. 

There are more than 123,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States with more than 2,100 deaths. In New York City, where one New Yorker dies nearly every nine minutes, there are more than 33,000 confirmed coronavirus cases with 678 deaths. 

CBS announced the loss of their 'beloved' CBS News colleague Maria Mercader (pictured), in a statement. According to the network, Mercader, 54, died from COVID-19 on Sunday in a New York hospital
Mercader, who worked for CBS for nearly three decades, had been on medical leave for an unrelated matter since February. Mercader (second from left) with Gertie Quitangon (left), Judith Benitez (second from right) and Sergey Gordeev (right) in New York City in 2018

The governor said the state now has more than 59,000 confirmed coronavirus cases with 8,000 hospitalized and 2,000 people in ICUs. 

'I don’t think you look at those numbers and conclude that nothing less than thousands of people will pass away,' Cuomo said.   

Cuomo said the US Navy hospital ship, the Comfort, will be in New York on Monday. The ship will provide an additional 1,000 hospital beds as hospitals are expected to become overwhelmed within the next week. 

The US leads the world in reported cases with more than 125,000. There were more than 2,100 deaths recorded by Sunday afternoon. 

All 50 states have reported some cases of the virus but New York has the most, with more than 59,000 positive tests for the illness. 

The governor also said that he supports the president's decision to issue a travel advisory for New York but assured New Yorkers that: 'This is not a lockdown.'

On Sunday, Gov Andrew Cuomo ordered New York's non-essential workers to stay in place for another two weeks as cases climbed by more than 7,000 overnight and the death toll hit 965

On Sunday, Gov Andrew Cuomo ordered New York's non-essential workers to stay in place for another two weeks as cases climbed by more than 7,000 overnight and the death toll hit 965 

The governor then gave a run-down of the state's number of confirmed cases. Cuomo said the state now has more than 59,000 confirmed coronavirus cases with 8,000 hospitalized and 2,000 people in ICUs

The governor then gave a run-down of the state's number of confirmed cases. Cuomo said the state now has more than 59,000 confirmed coronavirus cases with 8,000 hospitalized and 2,000 people in ICUs

This graphic shows the deaths per day in New York state, which saw 308 deaths on Saturday

This graphic shows the deaths per day in New York state, which saw 308 deaths on Saturday 

New York's coronavirus cases have increased significantly in the last 11 days. There are now more than 33,000 cases in New York City

Trump had initially considered ordering a quarantine for the coronavirus hotspots of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but abandoned that idea Saturday night. 

The president announced in a tweet that the quarantine would not go ahead and a travel advisory would be issued instead. The travel advisory urges residents of the tri-state area to immediately avoid any nonessential travel for two weeks.

'I know we feel under attack. Yes, New York is the epicenter and these are different times and many people are frightened,' Cuomo said, referring to the travel advisory and Rhode Island's dramatic tactics of pulling over drivers with New York plates.

'But look this is New York, we have made it through far greater things. We are going to be okay. We specialize in stamina in strength and instability. We are strong, we have endurance and we have stability,' Cuomo said.  

'We know what we're doing. We have a plan and any obstacle that we come across we will handle it,' Cuomo said, adding that 'there is no state in the nation that is better prepared' than New York. 

'New York is going to have what it needs and no one is going to attack New York unfairly and no one is going to deprive New York of what it needs.' 

Crews started assembling triage tents outside New York City hospitals that are already overwhelmed by coronavirus victims on Sunday.

The Mount Sinai system is setting up the temporary treatment facilities outside six of its hospitals - five in New York City and one in Long Island - as it prepares for a projected influx of COVID-19 patients. 

'The tents will be critical in helping us limit the spread of the disease between patients and staff,' hospital officials said in a statement last week, adding that they will expand the emergency room 'footprint'. 

On Sunday workers began erecting tents in Central Park that will service overflow patients at Mount Sinai West Hospital. 

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