NYC Mayor Says 'Thousands' of Hotel Rooms Will Become Temporary Hospitals (Video)
New York has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19 with far more confirmed cases than any other state.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he intends to use “thousands and thousands” of empty hotel rooms as temporary hospitals as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in the city, taxing the healthcare system.
"We're going to get a lot of hotels, literally in some cases leasing entire hotels, converting them into temporary hospitals," de Blasio said in an interview with local news channel NY1 on Monday night.
As of Tuesday night, there were more than 41,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New York City, including more than 1,000 deaths, according to the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The mayor's statement follows the arrival of the USNS Comfort hospital ship as well as the building of temporary hospitals in massive venues like the Javits Convention Center, Arthur Ashe Stadium and field hospitals in Central Park.
“A few weeks from now, it’s going to be very, very intense and that’s what we’re preparing for,” de Blasio said.
Currently, the mayor said the city has “room to grow” ICU capacity and "depending on the trajectory of this crisis, we may need to turn all of those hospital-based beds into ICU beds and use everything else for other types of needs,” he added.
Thousands of hotels around the country have already volunteered their rooms to temporarily house healthcare workers, and Airbnb is aiming to provide free housing for first responders as well.
New York has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19 with far more confirmed cases than any other state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a show of support this week, the Empire State Building was lit like an ambulance siren, and over the weekend a heartwarming photo was posted showing health care workers headed to New York on a Southwest flight to help.
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The information in this article reflects that of the publishing time above. However, as statistics and information regarding coronavirus rapidly change, some figures may be different from when this story was originally posted. While we strive to keep our content as up to date as possible, we also recommend visiting sites like the CDC or websites of local health departments.