Coronavirus outbreak: US Open venue to host 350-bed temporary hospital
With USA being highly affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a portion of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is set to transform into a 350-bed temporary hospital. This was confirmed by USTA president Chris Widmaier. USA has recorded over 1,60,000 cases with more than 3,000 deaths. Here are further details on the same.
According to a report in the New York Post, the site will likely be used to treat non-COVID-19 patients. However, that could change based on need, according to a spokesman for New York City's emergency management office, which is working on the project with the Army Corps of Engineers and state officials.
Meanwhile, the facility's Louis Armstrong Stadium will be converted into a commissary where 25,000 meal packages will be prepared daily for coronavirus patients, healthcare workers, public school children and others who need them, said Widmaier. "We're here to help and if our site in Queens is utilized to help New Yorkers, we're all for it," he said.
The fourth and final Grand Slam of the year in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is still slated to begin August 24. "Our greatest hope is that the US Open will take place as scheduled at end of August and that New York will once again welcome the world," Widmaier said. Earlier, the French Open was postponed. Meanwhile, there is uncertainty regarding the Wimbledon 2020.
According to a report in Reuters, news of the Flushing Meadows facility comes a day after New York began construction on a 68-bed field hospital in Central Park. The medical centers are full and as hospitals become overwhelmed, the city and state have also turned to the federal government to add more bed space for victims of the virus and other patients.