Cuomo: Javits Center on list to become coronavirus field hospital

Cuomo: Javits Center on list to become coronavirus field hospital
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Saturday that Manhattan’s giant Javits Center is at the top of his list of locations that can be used as a field hospital as the city scrambles to contain the coronavirus outbreak. 

“This virus spreads in density and that’s what we’re seeing in New York City,” Cuomo said at a press conference, noting that he is trying to get the Army Corps of Engineers to install a total of four field hospitals.

The Javits Center is known for hosting auto shows, trade conventions and more, and boasts 1.8 million square feet of space. Cuomo said he hopes four units of 250 beds each can be installed in the center.

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SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Westbury and the Westchester Convention Center are also under consideration as sites for the field hospitals.

Cuomo warned that 40 to 80 percent of the state’s population, or as many as 7.8 million people across the state, could be infected with the coronavirus.

The New York state government is taking an array of other measures to curb the further spread of COVID-19, including sending 1 million N95 masks to New York City and purchasing 6,000 ventilators from several different sources. 

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New York state has been particularly hard high from the virus, having more confirmed cases of the illness than any other state with over 8,500. Fifty-six people in the Empire State have died thus far.

New York City and neighboring Westchester County have been the epicenters of the outbreak in the state.