March 16, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Council Member Robert Holden responded to a call from Governor Andrew Cuomo asking localities for suggestions of facilities that could be converted to temporary hospitals.
With the number of coronavirus cases in the state now at 950 and rising, Cuomo said he believes the healthcare system will not have the capacity for the outbreak. He said New York City should identify 5,000 additional beds.
Council Member Holden suggested the state use the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center property, located at 79-25 Winchester Blvd. in Queens Village, as a triage center for COVID-19 cases.
The underutilized state-owned property could add thousands of beds to the state’s current hospital capacity, Holden said.
“Considering the seriousness of COVID-19, and the number of cases increasing at alarming rates, the State ought to be prepared for the potential influx of patients,” Holden said. “The Creedmoor complex in northern Queens has ample space, empty buildings, and recently constructed homes that could serve as a triage center should the need ever occur.”
In a letter Council Member Holden penned to the Gov. Cuomo today, he said the complex has nearly 10,000 beds with potential for more.
“I call on the Governor to seriously consider this proposition as he prepares further action to curb the spread of this deadly virus,” Holden said.
Gov. Cuomo called on President Donald Trump to deploy the Army Corps of Engineers to build temporary medical facilities as he feared that the healthcare system will be overwhelmed with COVID-19 hospitalizations.
He has repeatedly called for more federal aid and assistance in fighting the spread of coronavirus in the state.
Cuomo also said cancelling nonessential elective surgeries may soon be a possibility, in order to open up more hospital beds to coronavirus patients.