New York | More hospital beds at BJK Indoor Tennis Center

The first COVID-19 patients are expected to arrive on Friday at the temporary hospital that has been set up at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (NTC) in Queens, New York, as more beds are planned to be added to the facility.

Last week, I was at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens. What you looked at then, it was a bunch of tennis courts, indoor tennis courts. Right now, it is being converted into a hospital facility. We will convert 20 beds in the new facility to ICU care… this is a case of continuing to go faster, add more, to make sure we can serve people in need exactly when they need it. Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced as part of his Wednesday news conference that the NTC, the home of the US Open, plans to increase the capacity of its makeshift hospital from 350 beds to 470 beds to help in the battle against coronavirus.

“Last week, I was at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens. What you looked at then, it was a bunch of tennis courts, indoor tennis courts. Right now, it is being converted into a hospital facility,” said de Blasio, who did a walkthrough of the facility on 31 March.

“We’ll start receiving patients this week. We will convert 20 beds in the new facility to ICU care… this is a case of continuing to go faster, add more, to make sure we can serve people in need exactly when they need it.”

The first set of 150 beds are now ready to receive patients in the NTC’s Indoor Training Center and will see 12 courts and around 100,000 square feet of space converted into 475 beds, including 20 for Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients.

Elsewhere at the NTC, the site of the US Open, a different set of teams has been creating meal packages that are being distributed to patients, workers and school children.

Levy Restaurants, the food and beverage supplier for the US Open, and Restaurant Associates are using Louis Armstrong Stadium’s commissary to fulfill the packages.

Teams have been creating the packages from 6 am to 11 pm six days a week since last Monday.

Each package consists of two days’ worth of breakfast, lunch and dinner, with teams creating 25,000 packages every day.

Crews have prepared and delivered more than 1.2 million meals in the past nine days.


A view of temporary hospital beds sitting atop Court 5 and Court 6 inside the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center's Indoor Training Center.

atp tour.com

“The city needs to create and distribute in excess of 100,000 meals a day for COVID-19 patients, workers and underprivileged school children who rely on breakfast and lunch in the school system for their nourishment for the day,” Danny Zausner, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Chief Operating Officer, said.

“Tractor-trailers started arriving Monday from all over the country with the food.

“There will be up to eight teams building the packages itself: two teams of people building the box program in umpire dining, two teams in the food commissary, two teams in the Levy office and dry goods service area and two teams on the court itself.”

The NTC becomes the second site in Queens to be used as a temporary hospital after the Aqueduct racecourse was earmarked last week.

“Elmhurst Hospital in Queens is a stone’s throw away from the tennis center,” added Zausner.

“For us to be in the local community where our hands are tied, but to support the local community and help take some pressure off of Elmhurst Hospital is a huge thing for us to help out in any way we can.”


Louis Armstrong Stadium, the second-largest stadium on the grounds has been set up to prepare and distribute up to 25,000 packages of meals every day.

© usopen.org



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