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The demand from New York’s governor comes as FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Guard have already started building such facilities in Manhattan, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. As of Friday afternoon, New York has 53,000 hospital beds available, but is well short of Cuomo’s estimation of 140,000 needed.
“We are going to seek to build another four temporary emergency hospitals, which would get us another 4,000 beds,” Cuomo told reporters from the Javits Center, the site of the emergency hospital being set up in Manhattan.
“I’m going to ask the president today if he will authorize another four temporary hospitals for us,” he added. “I want to have one in every borough [of New York City], one for the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and Brooklyn. One for Nassau, one for Suffolk, one for Westchester, so everybody knows downstate which is where the essence of the density is right now, that everyone equally is being helped and protected.”
New York currently has 44,635 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 519 deaths.
Cuomo identified the sites he’s hoping to place new hospitals in as the New York Expo Center in the Bronx, the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and CUNY’s College of Staten Island.
The New York Expo Center in the Bronx. (NY Expo Center)
The College of Staten Island is one of several schools in New York being looked at to house coronavirus patients. (Google Maps)
The Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens has 100,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor space that could be used to treat coronavirus patients. (Aqueduct Racetrack)
The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal would offer 182,000 sq. ft. of space, Cuomo says. (Brooklyn Cruise Terminal)
If approved, it would give his state a combined 449,000 square feet of new space to treat coronavirus patients in the days and weeks ahead.