As the city works to accommodate the growing number of COVID-19 patients, it is considering a plan to convert hotels into hospitals for patients who don’t have the virus.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Wednesday, New York’s emergency management commissioner, Deanne Criswell, said the hotel facilities would be used for “those non-COVID patients who are really minor but need care.”
Details about the plan, including financial arrangements between hotels and the city, remain unclear.
The city is considering several options as it rushes to contain the virus. There were nearly 2,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York City as of Wednesday, nearly double the day before.
The hotel industry is feeling the effects, with occupancy plummeting as low as 15 percent. Several that were already in financial strife are now in an extremely perilous position.
Some hotels are already being used by the city for quarantine, according to the Journal. Criswell said they could also be used to house healthcare workers, too.
To increase capacity at existing hospitals, patients will be discharged sooner, elective surgeries will be cancelled and areas including cafeterias and parking lots will be converted into intensive care units, according to the city. The plan is expected to create another 7,000 beds.
“I’ve ordered all my colleagues to identify all spaces that can be converted immediately to medical use,” de Blasio said in a press briefing Monday. “We are going to be constantly building out medical facilities and creating them where they’ve never existed before and retrofitting facilities that have nothing to do with health care.” [WSJ] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan