US Open Temporary Hospital Shutting Down
The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, opened its doors to support the city’s battle against the coronavirus, transforming into a temporary hospital.
The tournament announced on its website Thursday that the final patient being treated at the temporary hospital has left, and the space used for it — 12 indoor courts — will now be broken down, sanitised, and returned to its original form.
“The hospital has officially closed, and we are currently in the shutting-down mode,” USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Chief Operating Officer Danny Zausner said, according to the US Open’s website. “[Crews] will be in there for the next three to four weeks disassembling, sanitising and getting us ready to open up for indoor business when we can.”
[TENNIS AT HOME]
The first patients began arriving at the temporary hospital the second week of April, but the facility was never forced to maximum capacity.
Teams have utilised Louis Armstrong Stadium, the centre’s second-largest stadium, to fulfill meal packages to be sent to patients, healthcare workers and school children. Since starting by preparing 150,000 meals per day, the program has been scaled back to provide hot food for first responders. Zausner says food production is set to end on 22 May.
“We were just trying to do our part. We were limited in terms of what our capabilities were, but we were able to provide a safe haven for first responders and, with our food service partners and Restaurant Associates, were able to feed them,” Zausner said. “We felt really good about that. But as we said all along, relative to what people are doing out there day by day, 24 hours a day, we were just scratching the surface.”