New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio inaugurated the opening of the National Tennis Center in Queens as a hospital Friday and said that the facility could be used to quarantine recovering patients to prevent a resurgence of the coronavirus once the city is over the current acute phase of the pandemic.
de Blasio commented, "You need a lot of capacity to quarantine people and isolate people to make that work. Facilities like these, if they're not needed for medical, will be turned into quarantine and isolation facilities to help people get through their own experience with the disease while making sure we don't infect the other members of their family or other people in their life."
The U.S. Open site has been converted into a 470 bed hospital which authorities hope would relieve the burden from the neighbouring hospitals in the New York city area. It is one of several sites in the New York area that have been converted into temporary hospitals, along with Central Park.
The new hospital will be staffed with doctors and nurses from around the country who have travelled to New York to help treat COVID-19 patients. de Blasio commented, "They came here because they love New York City and they wanted to help New York City in our hour of need."
New York is the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic in the United States and has more cases and deaths than any other city in the country. The Louis Armstrong Stadium is also being used as a food preparation and distribution center where 25,000 food packages are being prepared daily for those who are working on the frontline.