Tuesday, March 31, 2020
U.S. Open stadium will be used for triage for COVID-19 patients
The home of the U.S. Open will be transformed into a temporary hospital to take some of the pressure off Elmhurst Hospital, which was been described as the "epicenter of the epicenter" of the coronavirus outbreak.
An indoor training area at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will house a 350-bed medical facility that will accept COVID-19 patients from Elmhurst Hospital, which has borne the brunt of the crisis in the city.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said while it will take three weeks to build out the facility, it will start receiving patients next week.
"This place will be a life saving place," de Blasio said.
The Louis Armstrong Stadium is being converted into a commissary, to turn out 25,000 meals a day for patients and New York City schoolkids. They will be prepared every day with six meals per package.
The city has been rushing to triple its hospital capacity in anticipation of the apex, which is expected to hit in a matter of weeks. A 68-bed field hospital has been set up in Central Park's East Meadow, a temporary facility has also opened at the Javits Center and the 1,000-bed U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort arrived on Monday.