Central Park to get temporary field hospital as coronavirus cases rise

Photo via Twitter/@SamaritansPurse

Volunteers are building a temporary hospital for coronavirus patients in Central Park’s East Meadow that will open this week. 

The self-sustaining 68-bed field hospital will be staffed with doctors, nurses, lab technicians and other medical personnel from the Mount Sinai system and 86 disaster relief specialists from Samaritan’s Purse, an Evangelical Christian humanitarian relief organization, according to the group’s spokesperson, Kaitlyn Lahm.

The hospital is expected to start treating patients on Tuesday, March 31. According to reports, the hospital will be located near the corner of 5th Avenue and 99th Street.

The field hospital will have eight Intensive Care Units, with its first patients coming from Mt. Sinai Brooklyn and Mt. Sinai Queens, according to a press release on Samaritan’s Purse’s website. Queens continues to be the borough with the highest number of coronavirus cases followed by Brooklyn. 

“People are dying from the coronavirus, hospitals are out of beds, and the medical staff are overwhelmed,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse in a statement. “We are deploying our Emergency Field Hospital to New York to help carry this burden.”

The organization set up an identical field hospital in Cremona, the city at the epicenter of Italy’s coronavirus outbreak, on March 20. 

As of 10 a.m. on March 29, there were 32,308 cases of the coronavirus in New York City with 10, 373 cases  in Queens, 8,451 in Brooklyn, 6,145 in the Bronx, 5,438 in Manhattan and 1,866 on Staten Island and 678 people have died due to complications caused from contracting the virus. 

The temporary hospital set up at Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Convention Center is set to open on Monday, March 30. The USNS Comfort, a naval hospital ship, is also en route to New York City to provide emergency care for non-coronavirus patients and is due to arrive Monday.

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