NEW ORLEANS — The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel is set to become a field hospital to be used in the city's response to the coronavirus pandemic, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate reports.
According to the newspaper, the Sheraton, at 500 Canal Street, has been leased by the state to serve as a spill-over medical facility to handle the city's surge in coronavirus patients.
The hotel would operate the same as the Ernest M. Morial Convention Center, which is now in operation with 1,000 beds for COVID-19 patients in recovery to take some of the strain off local hospitals, the newspaper reports.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness reported signed the lease with the Sheraton last week but did not release details on space or operation in the hospital yet.
The Sheraton was previously used to house first responders in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
As of Monday, there were nearly 500 people dead and 1,800 hospitalized across Louisiana since the first reported case of COVID-19 in New Orleans on March 9.
Governor John Bel Edwards warns the state is projected to run out of ventilators by Thursday, April 9 and ICU beds the next day. The state has received around 550 ventilators from the national stockpile and private vendors.
Outside of the convention center, a second facility — not yet ready— is intended to treat up to 250 patients. That facility will treat people who likely have COVID-19 but haven't got test results back yet.