Video: Empire State Building lit up like ambulance siren to honor COVID-19 responders

Officials said the red and white lights will remain through the duration of the crisis

By Laura French

NEW YORK — The Empire State Building has replaced its traditional white lights with red and white rotating lights to resemble an ambulance siren as a tribute to first responders working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The official Empire State Building Twitter account announced that the new light display, which began Monday night, will remain throughout the nation’s battle with the disease.

As of Tuesday night, New York City had more than 40,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths, according to the city’s health department.

Nationwide, the virus has infected more than 190,000 people and killed more than 4,000, according to a live map from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) that has been tracking global cases throughout the pandemic.

New York City has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths out of any U.S. region recorded by Johns Hopkins CSSE.

More than 200 members of the FDNY have tested positive for the COVID-19, and FDNY EMS Chief Lillian Bonsignore said the city’s medical call volume is now the highest in department history.

On Sunday, FDNY Auto Mechanic James Villecco, 55, died from the disease. Another member, Paramedic Christell Cadet, has been on a ventilator since March 24 after contracting the disease. She remains in ICU as of Tuesday but is improving, according to the latest update from her family.


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