New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is planning to convert New York City’s enormous Jacob Javits Convention Center into a field hospital to deal with the onslaught of COVID-19 cases in the state, he announced in a Saturday briefing.
In the face of massive shortages of personal protective equipment meant to keep doctors and nurses safe from the coronavirus, Cuomo also plans to send 1 million N95 masks to New York City, while Long Island will receive 500,000. And, more ventilators will be arriving in the state over the coming weeks.
“The masks are the priority, so we have made priority on masks,” Cuomo said, adding that apparel manufacturers have pledged to help make masks. “Gowns are also very important, no doubt, but we have not been successful as yet with finding a supply of gowns.”
Cuomo is requesting that the federal government help construct four field hospitals, including Javits, and send in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA to help enact and operate them. Though plans for these facilities are still preliminary, Javits alone could potentially house 1,000 beds. The other three sites, which Cuomo plans to tour Saturday, do not yet have set numbers of beds.
Cuomo revealed that New York state has performed more than 45,000 tests for the coronavirus and confirmed more than 10,000 cases. As of Friday, New York had nearly 8,000 confirmed cases.
But Cuomo, who said he has not been tested, warned people against panicking about the new numbers.