As the spread of the new coronavirus threatens to strain the local hospital system, Los Angeles officials are turning to unconventional locations in search of shelters.
State and local authorities have for weeks discussed the possibility of using mostly-empty hotels and motels as a potential source of shelter during the crisis - with a particular emphasis on Los Angeles County's unhoused population. However, with film shoots and large gatherings halted due to the ongoing shelter-in-place order, soundstages and even sporting venues may be tapped for temporary housing and medical care facilities.
Even the Los Angeles Convention Center could be called into service, County officials said at a press briefing yesterday. With more than 700,000 square feet of exhibition space, the facility is slated to be used for non-skilled care - specifically quarantine and isolation - starting as soon as this weekend.
In similar fashion, New York City has activated one of its convention centers - the 1.8-million-square-foot Javits Center - as a field hospital to combat the virus.
The State of California, in an effort to expand the amount of available hospital beds, has temporarily reopened shuttered acute care facilities in Westlake and Long Beach. A U.S. Navy hospital ship has also been deployed to Los Angeles from San Diego.
These moves come as the outbreak of COVID-19 continues in Los Angeles, with more than 1,200 confirmed cases as of March 26.