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Northwell Health gets creative in adding more beds for coronavirus patients

Northwell Health is tucking beds wherever it can

Northwell Health is tucking beds wherever it can to hit the 50% expansion mandate, spokesman Terry Lynam said. Credit: Northwell Health

As the number of coronavirus cases in Nassau and Suffolk counties continues to rise at a rapid clip, Northwell Health is trying to add beds to its system, increasing capacity by 60% — going beyond the state’s mandate of 50%. 

And Northwell is getting creative.

This week, it added six tents, with 10 beds each, on the Manhasset parking lot of North Shore Hospital. Officials also removed 300 seats from the hospital’s auditorium to place additional beds there, and added some more to a conference center on the property. The Northwell system also is converting cafeteria spaces and conference rooms into bed space. And, since elective surgeries are canceled, Northwell is using some of its operating-room space for beds for coronavirus patients.

Other Northwell facilities across the Island are renting spaces to accommodate more beds. 

All told, Northwell plans to add 2,400 beds to its existing capacity, hospital officials said.

That effort comes as there has been a dramatic increase in coronavirus cases across Long Island — an increase that likely will worsen as we reach the apex. As of Thursday morning, Nassau had 10,587 coronavirus cases, while Suffolk had 8,746.

Overnight, Nassau saw an increase of more than 1,000 cases.

See a map of all the hospital beds on Long Island here.