As temporary hospitals are starting to pop up all over NYC, from the Javits Center to Central Park, Mayor Bill de Blasio added to the list yesterday afternoon (March 31).
At a daily press conference he announced that the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens would be turned into a 350-person hospital to combat COVID-19. These are the tennis courts that host the U.S. Open each year, located in Flushing-Corona Park.
“I look forward to the day it will be a place for tennis again,” the Mayor said. “But I’m so inspired by the team here for stepping up immediately to help us get this done.”
The temporary hospital spacer will help treat overflow from Elmhurst Hospital (non-ICU patients), also in Queens, to “immediately relive the enormous pressure they’ve been facing,” he said. It will receive its first patients as soon as next week.
“Before this crisis, all hospitals combined had 20,000 staffed beds,” he continued. “We have to dramatically increase that—and quickly. Places like the Tennis Center hospital will help us meet that demand and we’ll keep fighting every single day to build more of them across the city.”
featured image source: Twitter / @NYCMayor