A new makeshift emergency hospital is being built in a Queens tennis stadium in order to help a hospital that has been at the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis.
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The facility is the latest in the city’s efforts to combat the pandemic, which has sickened thousands of New Yorkers and killed hundreds so far.
As of Tuesday, according to the state, there were at least 75,795 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York, 43,139 in the city alone.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, 1,096 people have died in New York City due to the virus, the city said.
The city’s Office of Emergency Management will build a 350-bed facility at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The site is specifically designed to alleviate pressure at Elmhurst Hospital which has been severely impacted by the virus in recent days.
The temporary facility will house COVID-19 patients, officials said, but not ICU cases.
"Elmhurst has borne the brunt. The staff is amazing. But they need relief," de Blasio said during a press conference at the stadium' training facility Tuesday afternoon. "Starting next week, this facility will start taking non-ICU coronavirus patients, bring them here, relieve some of that pressure immediately."
The mayor also issued a public call to health care professionals who might be in possession of a ventilator that could be used by the city. That includes oral surgeons, veterinarians and plastic surgeons, according to the mayor.
So far, the city has received 2,500 ventilators, but de Blasio says at least 15,000 will be needed as the city continues to grapple with a health crisis expected to stretch well into the spring.
“People who are part of the fabric of this city - oral surgeons have ventilators, plastic surgeons, veterinarians - every single one. If you've got one we need it now. It shouldn't be sitting doing nothing,” de Blasio said.
De Blasio’s public calls for help have been answered in other ways thus far. The mayor announced hundreds of nurses and other health professionals have arrived in the city in recent days to work in the city’s hospitals. The mayor said 500 EMT workers and paramedics will be sent by FEMA. So far, 270 workers have already arrived.
Other news from the coronavirus briefing:
Alternate side parking will remain suspended for another two weeks, through at least April 14. Since it was already suspended for the rest of that week for religious purposes, the earliest New Yorkers may have to move their car is Monday, April 20.
Ten playgrounds across the five boroughs will be closed due to non-compliance with the city’s social distancing mandates, according to the mayor. The full list:
Fort Greene Park (2 playgrounds)
Watson Gleason Playground
Jacob Javits Playground
Raoul Wallenberg Playground
Clove Lakes Park (2 playgrounds)
900 inmates have now been released from city jails, as of Monday.
There will be fines and possible shutdowns if inspectors find any non-essential construction taking place.
And all tax liens will be postponed.
FURTHER CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE