NYC is desperately searching for hospital beds to treat coronavirus patients, since projections say we could need 110,000, and currently we only have 55,000. The goal is now to create new hospital facilities, which they are doing with the Javits Center.
Along with the hospital Naval ship the USNS Comfort, which will be docked in New York Harbor, the state government is transforming the Javits Convention Center into four emergency hospitals.
Each one will have a capacity for 250 people, so 1,000 people total, Governor Cuomo announced today in a press conference at the center. They will be constructed on the main showroom floor of Javits, over 40,000 square feet. 320 federal staff members will work in these hospitals.
Construction will start this week, and they hope to have it completed in one week to 10 days’ time.
These 1,000 units will serve as backfill for hospitals. They are also seeing if they can construct an additional facility next to the Javits Center with additional beds, though those will provide a lighter level of medical care compared to most hospitals. So, they could potentially get a 2,000 bed capacity in the area.
As they have put more extreme measures to reduce the spread (like the PAUSE initiative), they want to do all they can to prevent the overcapacity of New York’s healthcare system.
He echoed Mayor Bill de Blasio saying that “things will get worse before they get better,” and we are still in the “calm before the storm.” Positive cases will skyrocket, he says over the coming days, and there will be more people coming in to hospitals than they can handle.
He has also ordered that NYC hospitals must increase their capacity by 50%, which could create a total of 75,000 beds, still a good deal lower than the needed 110,000.
Another main issue is the equipment, as we need a projected 30,000 ventilators to help acute patients. They are looking to the federal government to help provide these.
featured image source: Instagram / @javitscenter