From the Times Newsweekly:
Spurred by fears that the H1N1 (swine) flu pandemic could hit Queens hard in the weeks and months to come, the Queens Borough Board and Cabinet recommended this week that the city reopen three closed hospitals in the event of a widespread outbreak to help treat the sick.
The Queens Borough Board— comprised of the chairpersons of all 14 community boards—adopted at its Sept. 21 meeting a joint resolution from the Health and Human Services committees of Community Boards 4 and 5 calling for the reactivation of St. John’s, Mary Immaculate and Parkway hospitals should the borough’s nine other medical centers become swamped with flu patients.
Members of the Queens Borough Cabinet—which includes the district managers of each board—approved the recommendation during their meeting at Queens Borough Hall the following day, Tuesday, Sept. 22, according to Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano.
Under the terms of the committees’ resolution, the city was asked to formulate a short-term plan to reactivate St. John’s, Mary Immaculate and Parkway hospitals in the event the influenza epidemic reaches “crisis” proportions.