The site of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York has become a 350-bed temporary hospital. The facility will also be used to prepare food packages during the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier says an area that houses indoor courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows was converted into a medical facility as of yesterday.
New York state and city officials are trying to increase hospital capacity by up to 87,000 beds to handle the outbreak. Widmaier adds that kitchens at Louis Armstrong Stadium - the second-largest arena used for the Grand Slam tournament scheduled to begin in late August - will be used for putting together 25,000 meal packages per day for patients, workers, volunteers and schoolchildren in the city.
The USTA originally had said it was going to keep the facility open for people to take lessons, practice or play tennis. But things have changed.