Photos show the National Guard converting New York City’s Javits Center into a disaster hospital for coronavirus patients

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Getty Images
  • In an effort to combat the alarming increase of coronavirus cases, the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan is being converted into an emergency hospital.
  • The main showroom of the center will be broken up into four 250-bed hospitals, each about 40,000 square feet in size.
  • There will be 320 Federal Emergency Management Agency workers assigned to the four hospitals in the center.
  • With over 20,000 confirmed cases, New York has the largest number of coronavirus cases of any US state.
  • Scroll down to see pictures of the construction of the Javits Center that will soon become New York City’s first makeshift disaster hospital.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Over the weekend, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans to open a new makeshift hospital in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan in an effort to contain the state’s rising coronavirus cases.

The New York National Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Javits employees have since been constructing the 1,000-bed facility, which is set to start operating in a week to 10 days.

As of March 24, New York had over 20,000 confirmed cases – the largest number of coronavirus cases of any US state.

Scroll down to see photos of the converted convention center, which will soon be at the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.


In an effort to create more space for the increasing number of coronavirus patients, the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan is being converted into a makeshift hospital.

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The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s West Side in New York City on March 23, 2020.
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Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

As one of the nation’s biggest venues, the convention center is usually used for events like comic cons, auto shows, and large conferences.

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Army National Guard arrives at the Javits Center on March 23, 2020.
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Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Bloomberg


But on Saturday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the main showroom of the center will be broken up into four 250-bed hospitals, each about 40,000 square feet in size.

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A map of the field hospital arrangement in the Javits Center on March 23, 2020.
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Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

That will account for 1,000 beds. The state is also hoping to add an additional 1,000 beds for less intensive medical care, Cuomo said.

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A bed area inside the Javits Center on March 23, 2020.
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Bryan R. Smith / AFP via Getty Images

“This was never an intended use, but you do what you have to do. That’s the New York way. That’s the American way,” Cuomo said when he visited the center on Monday.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks to the media at the Javits Center on March 23, 2020.
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Mike Segar/Reuters

“You’re going to see an over-capacity of our health system. Right now, we’re projecting you’ll see more people into the health care system than we can handle,” Cuomo said according to CBS News.


Meanwhile, the New York National Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Javits employees are setting up the hospital. It is expected to start operating in a week to 10 days.

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Military personnel at the Javits Center on March 23, 2020.
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Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

They have already started bringing in different medical equipment…

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Boxes holding medical supplies at the Javits Center on March 23, 2020.
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Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

…ranging from hospital beds…

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A bed and mechanical ventilator inside the Javits Center on March 23, 2020.
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Mike Segar/Reuters

…to ventilators, a crucial device used to help the worst-hit coronavirus patients breathe even after the infection has ravaged their lungs.

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Mechanical ventilators unpacked at the Javits Center on March 23, 2020.
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Mike Segar/Reuters

There will be 320 Federal Emergency Management Agency workers assigned to the four hospitals in the center.

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Military personnel at the Javits Center on March 23, 2020.
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Mike Segar/Reuters

Source: CBS News


New York is expecting a surge of more cases that could require up 110,000 beds. Currently, it only has 53,000 beds.

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Medical beds at the Javits Convention Center on March 23, 2020.
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Source: Bloomberg


With over 20,000 confirmed cases, New York accounts for nearly 6% of the world’s coronavirus cases.

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This outdoor space is sparsely populated as fears of the coronavirus spreading through the U.S. increase on March 04, 2020, in New York City.
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Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


This is not the only makeshift hospital that is being built. Westchester County Center in White Plains as well as the closed campuses of SUNY Stony Brook and SUNY Old Westbury will also have makeshift hospitals in the next few days.

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Medical equipment stored at the Javits Center on March 23, 2020.
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Ron Adar/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Studios/Future Publishing/ Getty Images

Source: Bloomberg