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By Richard Pagliaro | Tuesday, March 31, 2020

US Open

The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, will serve as a temporary hospital and commissary to help fight the coronavirus crisis in New York.

Photo credit: US Open Facebook

The home of the US Open will be a haven in the fight against the coronavirus.

The Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will be converted into a temporary hospital and commissary to help fight the coronavirus crisis in New York. 

More: Wimbledon Will Cancel

New York City's emergency management office will begin building a temporary 350-bed hospital in an indoor training center on the National Tennis Center grounds, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Authorities plan to use US Open hospital beds for non-coronavirus patients though that could change depending on need. If New York City hospital system becomes overloaded, then patients can be transferred to temporary hospitals that are being built in the city.  

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has said the state could need between 20,000 and 40,000 ventilators if the state cannot flatten the COVID-19 curve.

"You don't win playing catch-up, you have to get ahead of it," Cuomo said today. "This virus is more powerful and dangerous than we anticipated...The main battle is at the apex of the curve. We are planning now for the battle at the top of the mountain...New York needs help now. This is going to be a rolling wave across the nation."

The coronavirus apex will hit New York in the next 7 to 21 days, said Governor Cuomo, who revealed his brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Additionally, the US Open's Louis Armstrong Stadium will be converted into a commissary.

Officials plan to use Armstrong Stadium as a site to prepare 25,000 meal packages daily for COVID-19 patients, healthcare workers, public school children and others who need them, USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier told The New York Post.

“We’re here to help and if our site in Queens is utilized to help New Yorkers, we’re all for it,” Widmaier said.

Tennis Express

Elmhurst Hospital in Queens has been overwhelmed by coronavirus patients. Hospital staff have used a refrigerated tractor trailer to house the bodies of victims of COVID-19.

New York City's first 1,000-bed temporary hospital, built by the National Guard at the Javits Center, is open and accepting patients. A temporary hospital has been built in Central Park.

The federal government has approved four new sites for temporary hospitals—the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the Aqueduct Racetrack facility in Queens, CUNY Staten Island and the New York Expo Center in the Bronx—adding an additional 4,000 beds.


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