The Javits Center is making room for the ever-mounting coronavirus patients in New York City.
The newly opened makeshift hospital in the Manhattan convention center — originally dedicated to non-coronavirus patients — will now shift to COVID-19 treatment, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.
“The original plan for Javits was that it be used to take non-COVID patients from hospitals to open up hospital beds,” Cuomo said in a statement. “However, the number of COVID positive patients has increased so dramatically that it would be beneficial to the state if Javits could accept COVID positive patients.”
Patients currently in the 2,500-bed Javits hospital will be transported to the USNS Comfort ship, which docked in Pier 90 on Manhattan’s west side this week carrying 1,000 hospital beds, The Washington Post reported.
“This is a game change,” tweeted Councilman Mark Levine (D-Manhattan), who chairs the Council’s health committee. “Will allow our overwhelmed hospitals to discharge patients who no longer need acute care.”
Both facilities were originally expected to provide care to New Yorkers facing illnesses other than the virus as a way to relieve badly overwhelmed city hospitals.
As the epicenter of the United State’s coronavirus outbreak, New York has documented 48,462 confirmed coronavirus cases as well as 1,046 virus-related deaths as of Thursday morning.
It is not immediately clear when Javits will begin accepting coronavirus patients, or when those currently in the center will be transferred.
Cuomo said he had asked President Trump Thursday morning for permission to use the US Army-run Javits hospital to treat coronavirus and that Trump approved his request later in the day.
“I thank the president for his cooperation in this pressing matter and his expeditious decision making,” Cuomo said.
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