The governor escalated that call Monday, saying his office is issuing an emergency order to require all hospitals in the state to increase their capacity. "No one is testing more than we are testing".
Cuomo says while he is ordering hospitals to increase capacity by 50%, a move that he says will provide 75,000 beds, he is asking hospitals to try and increase by 100%.
He said the federal government was not sending enough equipment to combat the crisis, noting the state needs 30,000 ventilators.
"The inescapable conclusion is that the rate of infection is going up", Cuomo said at a press conference on Tuesday morning.
He said the state now has about 53,000 hospital beds available and expects that some 110,000 will be needed when the outbreak reaches its peak.
New York City is now the focal point of America's outbreak, with more than 12,000 of the nearly 40,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. and 100 of the nation's 477 deaths as of Monday. Of that figure, roughly a quarter of the people are in intensive care units.
He said the state is also calling on retirees and all other professionals in the medical field to help monitor those beds.
The Javits Center makeshift hospital is expected to begin receiving patients at the beginning of April, or right about the time the New York Auto Show had been scheduled to open. East location adds an approximate 1,000 beds to the state's capacity, and the governor said further locations are possible.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks on March 23 to the media and members of the National Guard at Manhattan's Javits Convention Center, which is being turned into a hospital to treat coronavirus cases.
Why it matters: NY state has become the US epicenter of the pandemic, with 25,665 cases, and Cuomo said time is running out to wait on domestic production of medical supplies.
In addition to easing the testing process for the coronavirus and moving toward a possible vaccine, health officials in NY and elsewhere are working to develop a way to test for antibodies that would indicate whether someone has already had COVID-19.
The number of hospital beds that will be required at the height of infections has been raised from 110,000 to 140,000 as the rate of new infections doubles roughly every three days, Cuomo said, warning that the virus is spreading like a "bullet train".
Public and private labs in the USA have confirmed more than 40,000 coronavirus cases, according to a COVID-19 dashboard created by the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering, which reports coronavirus numbers in near real time. Cuomo and Pres. Donald Trump have said they're "optimistic" about about these drugs; both are unproven against the coronavirus.