New York City’s 843-acre Central Park is hosting the state’s latest field hospital to help relieve hospitals strained by coronavirus.
The evangelical Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse has organized the effort to establish a 68-bed respiratory care facility in Central Park, which will operate in partnership with Mount Sinai Health System, and is set to open Tuesday, the organization said on Sunday.
President of Samaritan’s Purse and son of televangelist Billy Graham, Franklin Graham, said, “People are dying from the coronavirus, hospitals are out of beds, and the medical staff are overwhelmed. We are deploying our Emergency Field Hospital to New York to help carry this burden.”
“This is what Samaritan’s Purse does—we respond in the middle of crises to help people in Jesus’ Name,” Graham added.
The field hospital is being constructed by dozens of volunteers from area churches who are setting up the hospital with respiratory equipment from a six-truck convoy. Dozens of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers are in the process of arriving to establish the field hospital.
The field hospital will accept coronavirus patients from nearby Mount Sinai Brooklyn and Mount Sinai Queens. It will hold 68 patients across 50,000 square feet of the park, including 10 intensive care tents with ventilators.
The organization established a similar 14-tent hospital in Milan, Italy two weeks earlier, and has been caring for coronavirus patients there.
“It’s challenging to go to any place that has an infectious disease, but Samaritan’s Purse stands ready to bring critical relief to families impacted by disasters around the world. We’ve responded to infectious diseases similar to this before—including cholera, Ebola, and diphtheria,” said Samaritan’s Purse team lead Dr. Elliott Tenpenny.
The United States Army and New York National Guard set up another field hospital at the Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, which will care for non-coronavirus patients, and crucial hospital space for more coronavirus patients.
The convention center hosts 1,000 beds and will be fully staffed by nearly 600 active duty medical personnel and other support personnel.
New York has nearly half the coronavirus cases and deaths in the entire U.S.
According to Johns Hopkins’ latest tracking data on Monday afternoon, there are currently more than 148,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., in addition to 2,600 deaths.
In New York alone, more than 63,155 cases have been confirmed, and 1,040 people have died, 776 of which took place in New York City.
President Donald Trump extended the federal guidelines recommending all Americans stay at home and avoid non-essential travel until April 30. New estimates also indicated that the peak of the coronavirus could appear in the next two weeks, and up to 200,000 Americans could die from the virus.