Brooklyn Boro

New York City has leased at least 20 hotels to deal with the coronavirus hospital surge

April 2, 2020 Mary Frost

New York City has leased at least 20 entire hotels to convert into hospitals as the novel coronavirus crisis builds to an expected apex this month. The move is aimed at adding 10,000 beds to the city’s capacity.

Numerous hospitals have reached their maximum capacity already, and patients are being moved to less busy facilities, some as far away as upstate New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at his Thursday press conference.

As of Thursday, 51,809 people in New York City have tested positive for the virus, with 13,383 hospitalized and, of these, 3,396 in the ICU; 2,373 people have died.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday, “A huge number of hotels have become available to the city of New York and, literally, we can go in and lease an entire hotel building, and we can do that dozens and dozens and dozens of times until we get to the point that we have all the beds we need.”

The hotel hospitals will care for people who are recovering but not well enough to leave the hospital, Dr. Mitchell Katz, CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals, said.

Specific hotels have not yet been named.

“We so far have secured 10,000 beds and 20 hotels and we believe that the capacity is there,” Katz said. The city will convert entire floors into hospital wards, build out nursing stations near elevator banks and equip the rooms. The next challenge is getting the staffing and equipment necessary in all the facilities, he added.

The city will likely pay the bill and then pass the costs on to FEMA.


Healthcare workers are also being housed in hotels across the city. This strategy is spreading across the country as COVID-19 moves from the coasts inward.

According to Bloomberg News, Aimbridge Hospitality, the largest operator of Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt hotels, announced a deal with Trestle Health and Housing to make more than 700 U.S. hotels with 103,000 rooms available as surge capacity for hospitals and municipalities.

Heather Roiter, the head of hazard mitigation at the city’s Office of Emergency Management, told Bloomberg that workers with COVID-19 symptoms can quarantine in the rooms, “with separate spaces for asymptomatic healthcare workers who want to guard against passing infections to family members.”

An employee of the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge told the Brooklyn Eagle that healthcare workers were currently being housed at the Downtown Brooklyn hotel.

Trestle and Aimbridge will be charging from $69 a night for a room at the Doubletree in Beaverton, Oregon, to $106 a night for the Hilton in Chelsea — cheaper than the typical cost for a stay in a New York City hotel.

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How many hospital beds are coming on line?

– The city started with 20,000 staffed hospital beds before the coronavirus crisis began. The same hospitals are adding 10,000 beds within their existing facilities.

– The hotels leased by the city are expected to add an additional 10,000 hospital beds.

– The Javits Center currently has 1,000 medical surgical beds available, with another 1,500 medical surgical beds to come in late April.

– Samaritan’s Purse located in Central Park will support Mount Sinai. There will be 65 beds, 10 intensive care units and 55 medical surgical beds within 24 to 48 hours.

– The Navy’s Comfort ship located in Western Manhattan has 750 medical and surgical beds and a crew of physicians and nurses.

– H+H facilities on Roosevelt Island is opening up 240 medical surgical beds.

– The National Tennis Center located in Corona, Queens will take care of up to 350 medical and surgical beds.

– The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook will house up to 750 medical and surgical beds that will go up in mid-April.

In total, plans are in place to raise the city’s total number of hospital beds from 20,000 to 44,655 to cope with the pandemic.


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2 Comments

  1. elemengee

    Why isn’t the former Bossert Hotel in downtown Brooklyn being utilized for hospital patients with non-communicative illnesses so that hospital space can be freed up for coronavirus patients. It is currently empty except for two occupants.

  2. Courtney Sutton

    Why hasn’t Trump donated his hotels as hospital beds and/or beds for healthcare workers who don’t want to expose their families? And why is no one calling him out on this?