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New York reviewing sites for more hospital beds, Cuomo says

Last Updated Mar 21, 2020 at 9:06 am PDT

A screen displaying a messages thanking healthcare workers due to COVID-19 concerns is displayed in a sparsely populated Times Square, Friday, March 20, 2020, in New York. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ordering all workers in non-essential businesses to stay home and banning gatherings statewide. "Only essential businesses can have workers commuting to the job or on the job," Cuomo said of an executive order he will sign Friday. Nonessential gatherings of individuals of any size or for any reason are canceled or postponed. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York is reviewing places to put new hospital beds in response to the coronavirus outbreak, including New York City’s main convention centre and some state university campuses, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

The goal is to get hospital capacity, which now stands at around 50,000, up to 75,000 beds, Cuomo said at a news briefing.

Possible locations for temporary hospitals, which would be operated by the Army Corps of Engineers, include Stony Brook University and SUNY College at Old Westbury on Long Island and the Westchester County Center, in addition to Manhattan’s Javits Center, Cuomo said.

“Everything that can be done is being done,” he said.

Officials have identified 2 million face masks that can be sent to hot spots, Cuomo said, and apparel companies are pivoting to make masks. One million mask are being sent to New York City hospitals Saturday, and 500,000 to Long Island, he said.

The state is also rounding up ventilators from around the state and purchasing 6,000 to deploy to the most critical areas, Cuomo said.

Officials are requesting four military field hospitals with 250 beds each, Cuomo said.

The state’s COVID-19 caseload is now at 10.400, with about 1,600 people hospitalized.

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Michael Hill, The Associated Press