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New York to use parts of US Open complex as hospital amid coronavirus outbreak

New York to use parts of US Open complex as hospital amid coronavirus outbreak
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Tennis courts in Queens that are part of the U.S. Open complex will reportedly be turned into temporary hospitals as New York City works to relieve pressure on medical centers struggling to manage an influx of patients due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

An indoor training area at the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is expected to house 350 medical beds starting Tuesday, a USTA spokesman told The Wall Street Journal

A spokesperson for New York City’s emergency management office confirmed that the city is looking to create a hospital facility at the tennis center that will likely house patients without COVID-19.

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“We are actively working to identify spaces that can be used to expand hospital capacity throughout the five boroughs,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We have conducted a site visit with state and federal partners and are looking to build a 350-bed facility at the location. The site is likely to be non-Covid patients, and we will evaluate based on need.”

New York City’s emergency management commissioner, Deanne Criswell, said the city is looking to increase its capacity in Queens and Brooklyn. 

“It’s going to take all of us working together to get as many up as quickly as possible as our hospitals continue to see more and more patients every day,” Criswell told the Journal. 

The tennis complex’s Louis Armstrong Stadium will also be used to help respond to the pandemic. The stadium will be converted into a commissary to create 25,000 meal packages a day, USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier told the Journal. 

The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center was shut down earlier this month until at least May 3. 

The USTA canceled all events and activities until then and said it would make "future determinations" about events taking place after that date. 

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New York has had 66,487 cases of coronavirus — the most out of any state in the U.S. — with the majority, 37,453, concentrated in New York City, according to data from the state’s health department.

At least two other temporary hospitals are being set up in New York City to treat patients without COVID-19.

The Javits Center was turned into a 1,200-bed facility to treat patients without the virus, and a U.S. Navy hospital ship that arrived in New York Harbor on Monday will also be used to relieve local hospitals overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.