The largest Gothic cathedral in the world is transforming into a coronavirus field hospital to help New York City’s overcrowded hospitals.
Cathedral of St. John the Divine officials told The New York Times that 400 beds were delivered last week and patients are expected to arrive either later this week or early next week.
Nine climate-controlled medical tents capable of holding at least 200 patients will be housed in the place of worship.
Rt. Rev. Clifton Daniel III, the dean of the cathedral, told the Times that it is the first time the building will be converted into a medical space. He added that the church offered the space last month.
Even though it is the first time the Manhattan church will transform into a field hospital, it will have help from another group that has experience setting one up.
Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian humanitarian organization, which set up a field hospital in Central Park last month, is helping with the logistics at the cathedral. The group is led by the Rev. Franklin Graham.
The entire cathedral will be utilized, even the crypt, according to the cathedral’s director of facilities and capital projects James Patterson.
Patterson told The Times that the cathedral’s 600-foot-long nave and subterranean crypt will be used. The crypt, which is accessible through various winding staircases, will serve as a staging area for medical personnel.
The field hospital will be staffed with personnel from Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital, which is located next door to the cathedral.
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