New York state has recorded 630 more coronavirus deaths, another daily record that takes its toll to 3,565.
Most deaths have been in New York City. The state now has almost as many cases – over 113,000 – as the whole of Italy.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said infections could peak in between four and 14 days.
“Part of me would like to be at the apex and just let’s do it. But there’s part of me that says it’s good that we’re not at the apex because we’re not yet ready,” he said.
Mr Cuomo said the state was continuing its search for more ventilators. He thanked China for sending 1,000 ventilators, which were due to arrive on Saturday. The state of Oregon would deliver 140 more, he said.
The US has more than 300,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 8,000 people have died with the virus.
Globally, more than 60,000 people have died and more than 1.1 million have been infected, Johns Hopkins University in the US says.
The state has counted 113,074 confirmed cases, 63,036 of them in New York City.
Mr Cuomo said the number of cases and deaths were now rising at a slower rate in New York City, but there was a worrying increase in cases in nearby Long Island.
Meanwhile a new overflow hospital – the 2,500-bed Javits Center in Manhattan – would be staffed and equipped by the federal government, he said.
Some 85,000 people, about a quarter of them from other states, have signed up to help tackle the outbreak in New York, the worst in the US.
New York City’s mayor has sent messages to its eight million inhabitants urging qualified healthcare workers to volunteer.
“Anyone who’s not already in this fight, we need you,” said Bill de Blasio, appealing for help from “any health care professional: Doctor, nurse, respiratory therapist, you name it”.
Mr de Blasio has estimated that the city needs 45,000 more medical staff to help tackle the pandemic in April and May.
Earlier he urged residents to wear masks – “that could be a scarf or something you make yourself, a bandana” – when they go out.