New York City leases over 20 hotels to handle virus surge

Miles Hurley Miles Hurley Uploaded 03 April 2020

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US: New York City, the centre of America’s coronavirus crisis, has leased over 20 hotels to be converted into emergency medical facilities.

The city hopes to add approximately 10,000 beds to the city’s struggling medical facilities.

This supplements the hotels which are already serving as emergency lodging for medical working treating the virus. These in combination will help to slow the movement of the virus to the outer edges of the city and beyond. 

As of Thursday, the city has over 50,000 infected and over 2,373 deaths.

Mayor Bill De Blasio said to The Brooklyn Eagle: “A huge number of hotels have become available to the city of New York and, literally, we can go in and lease an entire hotel building, and we can do that dozens and dozens and dozens of times until we get to the point that we have all the beds we need.” 

In conversations with the Army Corps of Engineers, the mayor noted that conversions would be easily achieved but would have limitations. He notes that hotel conversions would not be acceptable for ICU units but would instead be good for small symptom care.

Dr. Mitchell Katz, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitality noted, however, that the freeing up of hospital beds would allow their conversion into crisis care beds. The city is likely to pay for these at the moment before passing their costs on to FEMA. 

Hotels across the world are shifting in order to support the fight against coronavirus. Claridges of London has opened its doors to house the NHS, while hotels in Asia have created packages to support those isolated in their doors.

 

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