New Orleans to convert convention center into coronavirus hospital

With hospitals in the city set to soon reach capacity, plans are being made to find new options for COVID-19 patients. WDSU's Sherman Desselle reports.

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU/NBC News) — New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Thursday tentative plans to use the Ernest M. Morial Convention Center as a site for COVID-19 patients who have been treated and are in need of isolation.

Cantrell anticipates the need for the building in the coming weeks as the number of positive coronavirus cases continues to rise in the area.

“Our data shows April 7 is the benchmark for hospital capacity,” Cantrell said.

The mayor said the plan includes up to 3,000 beds available at the center for infected COVID-19 patients who are recovering and in need of isolation.

The convention center was considered as a site for patients after the state couldn’t work out a deal with the local hotel industry to handle hospital overflow.

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