Stony Brook University is one of four sites selected by New York State for temporary field hospitals to treat coronavirus patients, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference today.
The other sites are SUNY/Old Westbury, the Javits Center in Manhattan and the Westchester Convention Center.
“That will give us regional coverage in downstate New York, which is our must heavily impacted area,” Cuomo said.
Confirmed cases in New York State surged over 15,000 today, with local cases in Suffolk County topping 1,000 and Nassau County approaching 2,000.
New York is also reporting the highest total number of coronavirus deaths in the nation for the first time today, with 114 deaths.
“New York State has 15 times more cases than any other state,” Cuomo said, addressing the federal government. “Fund the places that need it. New York has the greatest need.”
At the apex of the crisis in the coming weeks, New York State is projected to need more than 100,000 hospital beds for coronavirus patients, compared to the state’s current capacity of 53,000 beds, many of which are already in use.
The Army Corps of Engineers will build the hospitals, but they will not be staffed and supplied by the federal government, Cuomo said. He requested that the federal government provide additional aid to help with New York’s shortage of medical supplies and staff.
In addition to the Army Corps of Engineers facility Cuomo is planning at Javits Center in Manhattan, he is also asking FEMA to erect an additional four federal hospitals at that location, which would serve an additional 250 patients each. The FEMA hospitals are supplied and staffed by FEMA, he said, unlike the temporary field hospitals to be built by the Army Corps of Engineers.
The campus locations will house both indoor facilities and outdoor field houses, the governor said. The other sites will all be built indoors.
The governor said today he has approved the locations and construction would begin right away.
Dormitories at the campus will be used to house hospital workers, Cuomo said.
New York is also rolling out new regulations at all existing hospitals across the state in order to increase capacity.
Starting Wednesday, all elective, non-critical surgeries statewide will be postponed, which should increase capacity by 25% to 35%, Cuomo said.
Hospitals are also required to double their capacity. New York is directing hospitals to produce a plan for how they can increase their number of beds by at least 50 percent.
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