NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — COVID-19 cases are on the rise across New York, and hospitalizations are soaring.
Now, an emergency field hospital on Staten Island not used since the peak of the pandemic is reopening.
The temporary hospital was used from April to June, and now it’s back in service. The first patients were expected to arrive Tuesday.
As CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported, a steady stream of cars drove up to the testing tents at Staten Island University Hospital.
The borough’s infection rate has tripled in the last three weeks.
“I was exposed, so that was the reason I made the appointment online, and it was easy, very organized,” Staten Island resident Sonia Schmitt told Duddridge.
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Next door, a temporary emergency coronavirus treatment center reopened Tuesday.
It cared for 200 people back in the spring when hospital wards were overflowing with seriously ill COVID patients. Now, it’s ready again with 108 beds available.
“The majority of the patients are going to be people that were treated for COVID, have gotten past that phase where they’re really critically ill but still need care,” Staten Island University Hospital Executive Director Brahim Ardolic said.
The extra preparation comes as the northern part of the borough enters the yellow zone. The southern area of the island is now considered an orange zone, which means schools, indoor dining, salons and gyms have to close.
“The south side of Staten Island — Tottenville — it’s pretty hectic,” one resident said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked Tuesday how the city is helping the hospitals.
“We’ll be talking to the hospitals about their PPE supply, about staffing. Whatever it is they need, we’ll work with the state as well to make sure Staten Islanders are safe,” he said.
With Thanksgiving just two days away and Christmas in a month, health officials are pleading with people not to visit their family members.
“I think that some people don’t care, that’s the problem,” another resident added.
Health officials at Staten Island University Hospital said they have another site with no COVID patients, so people with other medical issues can feel safe coming in and not put off important procedures.
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