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NYC Secures 20 Hotels to Meet Hospital Bed Shortage In COVID-19 Crisis

Plus, the city’s free grab-and-go daily meal service for students extends to include adults — and more intel

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio behind a podium, announcing more temporary hospital facilities at a press conference
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announcing more temporary hospital facilities at a press conference
Photo by BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

New York City pays to convert hotels into hospitals

New York City has started leasing out entire hotels to convert into hospitals to combat the pandemic, the Brooklyn Eagle reports. Specific hotels involved in the initiative have not been named yet, but NYC Health and Hospitals CEO Dr. Mitchell Katz tells the Eagle that the city has secured 20 hotels and 10,000 beds so far.

The city will probably pay the bills to lease the hotels and then pass on the costs to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to the report.

The hotel-hospitals will act as transition points for those who are recovering from COVID-19 but not yet well enough to be discharged from the hospital, Katz tells the Eagle.

Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Twitter that several hotels in Manhattan and Brooklyn would start providing facilities and donating rooms to house non-critical COVID-19 patients and health care workers. When Eater reached out to the hotels to confirm the announcement, nearly all said that discussions were still ongoing with the state and no plans had been finalized.

As of Thursday, April 2, at 4 p.m., there were 51,809 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in New York City, and 92,381 confirmed positive cases across the state, according to New York’s Department of Health. Mayor Bill de Blasio has estimated that the health care system will need an additional 65,000 hospital beds by the end of April.

In other news

Gallaghers Steakhouse in Midtown is unloading its famous meat locker today and giving steaks away for free to the pandemic’s first responders, a restaurant spokesperson says. The NYPD is sending an armored car to pick up the steaks.

— New website Family Meal for All lists out which restaurants and food pantries in NYC are offering free food to restaurant workers affected by the pandemic.

— The Lower East Side’s Pickle Guys are temporarily closing up shop starting next Tuesday, April 7. They hope to re-open in early May.

— Not only did the landlord for Sauce Pizzeria in the East Village freeze the restaurant’s rent for the next three months in light of the new coronavirus crisis, but the real estate company donated $20,000 to support Sauce’s efforts to deliver hundreds of free pizzas to hospital workers.

— Famous chefs including Tom Colicchio and Eric Ripert are flocking to Instagram to dole out extremely forgiving home cooking tutorials in the days of social distancing.

— NYC’s free grab-and-go daily meal service for students now extends to adults as well.

— Chef Nasser Jaber of Palestinian restaurant Qanoon in Chelsea has launched a new initiative called the Migrant Kitchen to employ immigrants and refugees to cook emergency meals for health care workers and others impacted by the pandemic.

— Only a matter of time until this hits Brooklyn: