Starting Tuesday, a portion of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will be converted into a 350-bed temporary hospital as the coronavirus outbreak strains medical resources in New York City, the nation’s biggest hot spot for the pandemic.
New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) informed the United States Tennis Association (USTA) of its plans on Monday, after previously telling the organization that the tennis center was a potential venue for auxiliary medical care.
NYCEM spokesman Omar Bourne said:
“The site is likely to be for non-Covid patients, and we will evaluate based on need. The city is actively working to identify spaces that can be used to expand hospital capacity throughout the five boroughs.”
In addition, the Louis Armstrong Stadium is expected to be converted into a commissary. This lunchroom will serve around 25,000 meal packages per day, each containing six meals. These meals will go to hospital workers in New York City and to the vulnerable families in the city.
In an interview, Chris Widmaier, spokesman for the USTA said:
“We’re here to help no two ways about it. New York is our home, we’re all in this together.”
News of the Flushing Meadows facility comes a day after New York began construction on a 68-bed field hospital in Central Park, as the city struggles to accommodate the high volume of patients at its medical centers.
More than 163,000 positive cases for the novel coronavirus have so far been reported across the USA, and more than one-third of those — 66, 497 to be exact — are in New York.
It’s going to take all of us to help combat the coronavirus, and with organizations like USTA helping out, we will!