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NYC field hospitals begin to open amid COVID-19 crisis

Posted at 6:59 AM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 07:06:41-04

NEW YORK — With New York City hospitals already starting to feel the strain as coronavirus patients start to fill emergency rooms and hospital beds, new field hospitals across the city are opening in an attempt to provide some much-needed relief.

Opening Tuesday morning are a series of 68-bed medical tents in Central Park's East Meadow Field, set up by relief organization Samaritan's Purse in collaboration with the Mount Sinai Health System.

Over in Queens Tuesday, at the site of the U.S. Open, doctors will begin serving care for up to 350 patients at a makeshift medical facility at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The U.S. Navy's USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in New York Monday morning and will provide up to 1,000 additional beds.

Also opening soon is the temporary medical facility of 1,200 beds at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhatttan, set up over the past week by the Army Corps of Engineers.

While COVID-19 patients won't necessarily be cared for at these field hospitals, other patients can be moved to these locations to make more room for those with coronavirus in traditional hospitals.

As of Monday, New York City has a whopping 38,087 COVID-19 cases, with 914 deaths so far related to the novel coronavirus, and health officials only expect those numbers to rise in coming weeks.