The Javits Convention Center’s stunning transformation into a 2,000-bed hospital complex to treat coronavirus patients was in full swing Monday, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave a sneak peek at the facility.
“For us, a major thrust is increasing hospital capacity,” Cuomo told reporters inside the cavernous Midtown convention center. “We’re trying to reduce the rate of the spread of the virus. But at the same time, we have to get that hospital capacity up.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is in the process of constructing four 250-bed temporary hospitals inside the venue, while the US Army Corps of Engineers is working to erect a fifth, 1,000-bed facility, Cuomo said.
Cumulatively, the hospitals would add 2,000 beds to the 53,000 in the state’s hospital system, inching New York closer to the 110,000-bed threshold that the contagion’s curve is projected to demand.
The crunch comes as New York state is inundated with 20,875 cases of coronavirus, including 12,305 in the five boroughs. So far, the disease has killed 157 people across the Empire State.
The Javits Center facilities can begin admitting patients as soon as construction is completed in about seven to 10 days, according to Cuomo.
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