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Press Releases

NYC Health + Hospitals to Triple ICU Capacity, Expand Personnel

Plan will create more than 2,475 standard hospital beds, 760 ICU beds, add 2,500 health care workers

Apr 02, 2020

New York, NY

To accommodate the surge in patients, NYC Health + Hospitals has expanded ICU capacity system wide, with an immediate focus on NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, NYC Health + Hospitals/ Lincoln and NYC Health + Hospitals/ Bellevue. NYC Health + Hospitals will aim to bring on a total of 3,000 additional ICU beds by May 1, nearly tripling the base ICU capacity of its 11 hospitals.

Over the past few weeks, the City has leveled the COVID-19 surge across the system by transferring 193 non-ICU and 43 ICU COVID-19 patients from NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, Queens, Lincoln, Woodhull, and Kings County hospitals to other public hospitals with more capacity. Each facility identified usable space, based on surge planning exercise started in February.

“Our City faces unprecedented challenges in the weeks ahead,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Every ventilator and ICU bed can save life, which is why we are marshalling every possible resource to our hospitals in record time. Still, the federal government must step up and provide the reinforcements we need. The battle will be long, and we cannot fight it alone.”

“The Governor has called for hospitals to prepare for the surge and New York City’s public hospitals have been more than rising to the challenge of caring for the large number of covid-19 patients needing intensive care,” said President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals Mitchell Katz, MD. “We’re proud to be able to provide these incredibly important services at this critical moment in our city’s life. And we will continue to work with city, state, federal officials and the private health systems in the city to secure as many more beds, health care personnel and equipment we need to prepare for the peak time of the epidemic which is projected to occur sometime in April or early May.”

NYC Health + Hospitals Capacity Update

Throughout this initial surge, NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst has added 82 ICU beds, bringing the total of available beds to 111. The hospital will bring on 30 additional ICU beds in the coming weeks. NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln has added 80 ICU beds, and will bring on an additional 34 in the coming weeks. NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue has added 61 beds, with 52 more on the way.

Over the course of the month of April, NYC Health + Hospitals will create nearly 762 ICU beds – more than any other hospital system in the country – and add nearly 2,500 medical beds.

  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull will add 91 medical and surgical beds and 23 ICU beds
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens will add 373 medical beds and 44 ICU beds
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx will add 77 medical beds and 31 ICU beds
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan will add 156 medical beds and 74 ICU beds
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County will add 292 medical beds and 117 ICU beds
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Jacobi will add 265 medical beds and 93 ICU beds
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem will add 141 medical beds and 44 ICU beds
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst will add 230 medical beds and 69 ICU beds
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Coney Island will add 104 medical beds and 18 ICU beds
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue will at 212 medical beds and 52 ICU beds
  • NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln will bring 525 beds and 197 ICU beds online

Support for NYC Health + Hospitals Staff

To accommodate a surge in patients, NYC Health + Hospitals has added 165 doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistant system wide. An additional 1,000 registered nurses were deployed as of yesterday, and another 1,000 nurses will be deployed in the next two weeks. NYC Health + Hospitals will also add another 350 doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants over the course of next week.

Free COVID-19 testing is also now available to NYC Health + Hospitals health care workers at their request. Additionally, NYC Heath+ Hospitals has raised more than $1.6 million from private donors in the last week alone to provide comfort items to front line staff, including meals, groceries, taxi rides, hotel rooms. The public health care system has also expanded its Helping Healers Heal program to extend emotional and psychological counseling to the health care workers dealing with the common stress and anxiety caused by the crisis.

To support this massive expansion and be able to serve the increasing number of New Yorkers, NYC Health + Hospitals deployed a number of additional surge strategies, including:

  • Opened a new 350-bed medical center on Roosevelt Island on March 27 to transfer low acuity patients and allow hospitals to expand its ICU capacity; expect to have 40 patients admitted by the end of this week.
  • Deployed more than 750 clinicians to provide telephonic clinical guidance to more than 4,000 New Yorkers who call 311 every day to help redirect people from coming to the emergency room unnecessarily.
    • Scheduled approximately 29,000 patient televists in a week to keep patients safely at home and reduce the spread of the virus.