The Javits Center is trading in trade shows for triage and hospitalization. Governor Andrew Cuomo said today that New York City may need 140,000 hospital bends and 40,000 ICU beds. As a result, the City is converting its largest exhibition space into a field hospital.
The conversion of the main showroom floor of the Javits Center in Manhattan is expected to begin this week, turning the 1.8 million square feet of convention space into New York City's first field hospital to respond to the coronavirus crisis.
Cuomo announced the plans Saturday and toured the space today. He said setting up four 250-bed field hospitals at the site would take about a week to 10 days.
"This is going to get much worse before it gets better," said Cuomo. "We are still in the relative calm before the storm. You're going to see the number of infections, the number of cases increase dramatically.
"You're going to see an over-capacity of our health system," he said. "Right now we're projecting you'll see more people come into the health care system than we can handle."