Photos show how New York City is dealing with the coronavirus outbreak

Makeshift morgue NYC Makeshift morgue NYC

An Air Force member exits a tent builded as makeshift morgue outside of Bellevue Hospital on March 25, 2020 in New York City.

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

  • New York has been hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak in the US, causing the streets to feel eerily empty and the hospitals and morgues to be hopelessly overwhelmed.
  • Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency on March 7, and has since shuttered all public schools and nonessential businesses.
  • As the state grapples with overtaxed medical systems and a surge of new patients, authorities are rushing to build makeshift hospitals and ramp up precautionary efforts.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus outbreak in the US has hit New York the hardest, and the City that Never Sleeps is unrecognizable. By Tuesday, the state had reported more than 75,000 cases and 1,550 deaths.

To grapple with this surge, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency, ramped up testing efforts, built multiple makeshift hospitals, and initiated sweeping measures to keep New Yorkers inside their homes.

These photos reveal what it looks like in New York as authorities scramble to contain the outbreak in one of the nation’s most populous states.

New York has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the US, causing one of the most densely populate cities in the world to feel eerily empty.

Coronavirus in nyc

A woman wearing a mask walks the Brooklyn Bridge in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on March 20, 2020 in New York City.

Victor J. Blue/Getty Images

But hospitals are a different story. They’ve become overwhelmed with the number of patients needing intensive care.

NYC hospital coronavirus

An elderly person arrives on a stretcher, and is admitted to NYU Langone Health Center hospital on March 23, 2020 in New York City.

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

In just 24 hours, 13 patients died at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, prompting one medical worker to call the situation “apocalyptic.”

Elmhurst hospital

Medical workers outside at Elmhurst Hospital Center in the Queens borough of New York City on March 26, 2020

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Source: The New York Times

To relieve this, the the Army Corps of Engineers is building makeshift hospitals around the city. They transformed the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center in Manhattan into a 1,000-bed hospital that opened to patients on Monday.

Javitz Center hospital

A temporary hospital is set up at the Jacob K. Javits Center on March 27, 2020 in New York.

BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

The US Army Corps of Engineers are also turning the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the Aqueduct Racetrack facility in Queens, CUNY Staten Island, and the New York Expo Center in the Bronx into makeshift hospital sites.

Brooklyn cruise terminal

Brooklyn Cruise Terminal.

Leonard Zhukovsky /

New York’s Mount Sinai hospital system has reimagined parts of Central Park into a 68-bed emergency field hospital. The site will include “a respiratory care unit with ICU capability” and was expected to be ready for patients on Tuesday.

central park coronavirus

Workers set up a field hospital in front of Mount Sinai West Hospital inside Central Park on March 29, 2020.

Kena Betancur / AFP) (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Insider

On Monday, a US Navy hospital ship dubbed the USNS Comfort arrived in Manhattan equipped with 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms, a laboratory, and more than 1,000 Navy officers to relieve overwhelmed hospitals in the city.

USNS Comfort 2.JPG

USNS Comfort in New York.

Mike Segar/Reuters

Source: Business Insider

More than 76,000 healthcare workers — many of them already retired — have volunteered to work in New York hospitals as the situation becomes more strained.

Healthcare workers NYC

Health care professionals take a break awaiting patients as they test for COVID-19 at the ProHEALTH testing site in Jericho, New York, March 24, 2020.

Steve Pfost/Newsday RM via Getty Images

Source: Forbes

But healthcare workers are growing anxious as masks and other protective gear remain scarce. At least two nurses in city hospitals have died.

hospital staff testing in NYC

Doctors test hospital staff with flu-like symptoms for COVID-19 at St. Barnabas hospital on March 20, 2020 in New York City.

Misha Friedman/Getty Images

Source: The New York Times

On March 29, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that the city has enough medical supplies to last only one more week, calling on the federal government to deploy more ventilators, masks, and medical personnel.

De Blasio with shield

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a face shield as he speaks to the media during a visit to the Brooklyn Navy Yard where local industrial firms have begun manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Source: The New York Times

For the first time since 9/11, New York City has set up makeshift morgues outside of hospitals using refrigerated trucks and tents, in preparation for mass coronavirus casualties.

makeshift morgue 1.JPG

Workers construct a makeshift morgue outside Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Sources: Business Insider, CNN

The state has ramped up testing efforts and opened up new drive-thru stations, making it the most aggressive testing state in the country. By Tuesday, the state had tested more than 200,000 people for the disease.

NY coronavirus testing

A cotton swab used in a nasal passage as health care professionals test for COVID-19 at the ProHEALTH testing site in Jericho, New York on March 24, 2020.

Steve Pfost/Newsday RM via Getty Images

Sources: Business Insider, CNBC, The COVID Tracking Project

One funeral director told Business Insider correspondent Dave Mosher that “no one in the New York City area possibly has enough equipment to care for human remains of this magnitude.” One person is dying from the coronavirus roughly every six minutes in New York City.

coronavirus covid 19 deceased dead international funeral service new york dave mosher business insider 000020

Dave Mosher/Business Insider

Sources: Business Insider, Gothamist

At the current pace, with thousands of new cases and hundreds of new deaths reported each day, the crisis in New York will probably get worse before it gets better.

Coronavirus New York City

A man is wheeled into an ambulance during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 27, 2020.

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Source: The New York Times

But there might be hope. The former New York hotspot, New Rochelle, appears to be flattening the curve after a one-mile radius “containment zone” was issued to close off the area two weeks ago.

New Rochelle coronavirus.JPG

A man wears a face mask as he walks near Young Israel orthodox synagogue in New Rochelle, New York

Eduardo Munoz/REUTERS

Source: The New York Times

Photos of New York City streets show people largely adhering to the social distancing guidelines. All nonessential businesses, public schools, and tourist attractions have been shuttered, leaving the streets unusually quiet.

Coronavirus NYC

Pedestrians passes an entrance to Stuyvesant High School closed due to coronavirus concerns, Monday, March 16, 2020, in New York.

Spencer Platt/Staff/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

Where the streets are typically littered with tourists, entertainment, and taxis, this aerial shot shows Times Square without a pedestrian in sight.

Empty NYC Coronavirus

A view of empty streets in New York City.

REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

On March 28, the CDC issued a domestic travel notice for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, urging Americans to avoid “nonessential travel” from the region, leaving New York airports largely empty.

JFK empty coronavirus

People walk through a sparse international departure terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) as concern over the coronavirus grows.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider

New York City playgrounds, including this one in the vast and sprawling Central Park, have emptied, too.

Empty central park

A nearly empty playground in Central Park as New York City attempts to slow down the spread of coronavirus through social distancing on March 30, 2020

John Lamparski/Getty Images

But people have found creative ways to get some fresh air. Some lucky New Yorkers with roof access have used the spaces to work from home.

NYC work from home

A teacher from Yung Wing School P.S. 124 remote teaches on her laptop from her roof on March 24, 2020 in New York City

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

The New York City subway system is still running for essential workers and necessary travel, but many stations have been left looking abandoned.

Empty NYC Coronavirus

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Source: Business Insider

This mall and transit exit in lower Manhattan is typically bustling with people.

empty subway nyc

A person exits the subway at an empty Brookfield Place mall in lower Manhattan on March 29, 2020 in New York City.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

As more people are working from home and avoiding nonessential travel, subway stations and cars have become largely empty.

mask respirator coronavirus new york city subway

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Cuomo extended the stay-at-home order for all nonessential workers and schools throughout the state until at least April 15, leaving many bars and restaurants shuttered.

restaurant nyc

A worker sweeps the floor after closing time at McSorley’s Old Ale House, which, established in 1854, is referred to as New York City’s oldest Irish saloon and was ordered to close at 8:00pm as part of a city-wide order to close bars and

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Source: The New York Times

But restaurants are still allowed to offer takeout and delivery.

nyc delivery food bike new york city coronavirus

A delivery person rides a bike down the middle of 7th Avenue in mostly deserted Times Square during the coronavirus outbreak in Manhattan on March 23, 2020.

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

As the outbreak worsens, New Yorkers have begun stockpiling food and supplies, leaving some supermarkets swept clean.

empty store nyc

Empty store shelves are seen in a supermarket as people has been stocking up for food and other essential items fearing the supply shortages.

John Lamparski / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

By Tuesday, the US had reported more than 186,000 cases and at least 3,800 deaths. A model the Trump administration is using predicts that even with social distancing efforts, the coronavirus could kill between 100,000 and 240,000 people in the US.
Without mitigation, the model predicts up to 2.2 million people could die.

NY coronavirus ambulance

A patient with a face mask is being carried to an ambulance at the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York, United States on March 25, 2020.

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sources: Johns Hopkins, Business Insider

LoadingSomething is loading.

Do you have a personal experience with the coronavirus you’d like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the pandemic? Please email and tell us your story.

And get the latest coronavirus analysis and research from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is impacting businesses.


Politics Slideshow
New York

Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Read More

By |2020-04-01T03:28:08+00:00April 1st, 2020|Business|Comments Off on Photos show how New York City is dealing with the coronavirus outbreak
Go to Top