The New York International Auto Show was originally supposed to get going just two weeks from now, but with the global Coronavirus pandemic, everything has changed. The show has officially been pushed back to August, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for its home, Manhattan’s Javits Center, to be turned into a field hospital for Coronavirus patients.
As New York State’s reported Coronavirus infections surpassed 15,000 cases, hospitals are quickly becoming overwhelmed, anticipating a sharp uptick in patients, with reports from the region saying that medical providers are already running out of crucial supplies.
By this time of year, the Javits Center is already teeming with workers setting up massive stands featuring cars upon cars, all getting ready for the crowds that flock to the show. But that’s over, for now.
From the New York Post:
Cuomo formally green-lit the conversion of facilities statewide into hospitals as the number of cases spiked, threatening to push existing hospitals to the brink.
“We have 53,000 hospital beds available,” said Cuomo. “Right now, the curve suggests we could need 110,000 hospital beds. And that is an obvious problem.”
Cuomo called for FEMA to set up four, 250-bed field hospitals inside the Javits Center.
Along with adding beds, the FEMA hospitals have the perk of coming with their own federal staffs and a stash of critical supplies, Cuomo said.
New York State has been scrambling to generate hospital capacity for the rapidly growing number of Coronavirus cases, which have jumped from 613 reported cases on March 14 to now 20,875 confirmed cases and 157 deaths in the state as of today, according to the New York Times.
The New York Times also reports New York accounts for a whopping 6 percent of known cases worldwide, making it the focus for treatment and prevention on a large scale in the U.S. New York City alone has over 9,000 reported cases and over 60 deaths, and statewide, 114 people total have died.
All non-essential workers (including your very own Jalops) have been ordered to work from home by the governor, and all restaurants and bars have been restricted to carry-out and delivery options only as the virus continues to spread.
Nationally, testing for Coronavirus is still hard to come by, leading experts to suspect the number of cases in the U.S. is far higher than our current count of more than 35,000 people.
Right now, the government’s best guidance for treatment and prevention is social distancing, or limiting your exposure to outside groups and individuals as much as possible. You can read more about best practices for avoiding or treating the virus at the CDC here.