Coronavirus News: NYC hospitals nearing capacity with COVID-19 patients

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The Javits Center is now the country's largest hospital with 2,500 beds and U.S. military medical personnel ready to help coronavirus patients.

Governor Cuomo says it's a critical need as New York could be reaching the apex or the height of the pandemic

"The big operational shift will be that Javits coming online. If we get that up and running efficiently, that is 2,500 beds for people who test positive with the COVID virus. That is a major shift for the systems. And at a time where we desperately need a relief valve for the system, Javits could do that, he said.

The Department of Defense has deployed 1,000 military personnel to New York.

The mayor on Sunday thanked some 300 Army medical workers who have now been deployed to the city, an infusion the mayor called a good start. He has asked for about 1,450.

In all, he said New York City is going to need 45,000 doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists to get through the crisis.

The USNS Comfort was originally slated to handle non-coronavirus patients, although "a few" positive patients were transferred to the USNS Comfort late last week. When testing revealed they were positive, they were isolated and were transferred to the Javits Center.

Governor Cuomo requested the Comfort be used for COVID patients because there are not that many non-COVID patients. As of Monday afternoon, there were 30 patients on the Comfort, per FEMA records.

President Trump said on Sunday that the 1,000 bed Navy hospital ship still could be used to treat coronavirus patients "if we need it" and on Monday agreed to let the Navy ship treat coronavirus patients.

On Monday, Mayor de Blasio visited the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where local companies are now manufacturing thousands of protective hospital gowns to supply the city's health care workers.

The mayor said hospitals and nursing homes used 1.9 million gowns last week and anticipated needing 2.5 million this week.

Lafayette 148 New York and Cry Precision have partnered to mass produce the gowns. They will have 2,900 made by the end of Monday, 19,000 by the end of the week and 320,000 by the end of the month, de Blasio said.

"New York City is fighting back with everything we got," the mayor said.

Mayor de Blasio also confirmed that the city has enough N95 masks to last through this week after the federal government came through with 600,000 for independent hospitals. The federal government also delivered 200,000 to city hospitals last week.

The mayor has previously visited the navy yard to view the operation to produce disposable face shields for health care workers. 50,000 shields were delivered to the city over the weekend and an additional 70,000 by Tuesday.

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