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A portion of the U.S. Open tennis site will be dedicated to helping New York City’s crowded hospitals as it looks to contain the coronavirus outbreak, which has seen nearly 1,000 die from the virus.
Part of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens will turn into a 350-bed temporary hospital beginning Tuesday, the U.S. Tennis Association told Reuters.
“We’re here to help — no two ways about it,” USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said. “New York is our home, we’re all in this together.”
New York City Emergency Management told the USTA of its plans to turn the site into a temporary hospital Monday after previously telling the organization the site was a possible site for auxiliary medical care, Reuters reported.
“The site is likely to be non-COVID patients, and we will evaluate based on need,” New York City Emergency Management spokesman Omar Bourne said, adding the city is “actively working to identify spaces that can be used to expand hospital capacity throughout the five boroughs.”
Additionally, Louis Armstrong Stadium, which is part of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, will be used for meal packaging, according to the USTA.
New York City has been looking for additional sites to offset crowded hospitals amid the pandemic. Central Park and the Javits Center are among the venues already set as temporary hospitals.