Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti says the city is open to using any space possible for hospital beds as the coronavirus spreads.
During a press conference Wednesday, the mayor said, “Any place is on the table.”
He went on, “If you go to a place like Staples Center, it’s a small place compared to the [Los Angeles Convention Center] or other things, but absolutely. Whether it’s the hotels and motels, who need our help badly right now, and at the beginning some were saying, ‘Well, we don’t know if we want to take patients,’ many of them now have said, ‘Absolutely, we would take patients, people who need isolation and quarantine.'”
On the table are sports and entertainment venues as well as Hollywood soundstages.
This move follows similar ones from New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo, who has already toured the emergency FEMA hospital being set up at the Jacob K. Javits Center, a Manhattan venue.
Should Los Angeles find itself needing sports and entertainment venues, there won’t be a shortage of empty space: Worries about the growing coronavirus pandemic, which has so far infected more than 7,000 people in the United States and killed at least 97, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have dramatically upended what was originally going to be a busy schedule of entertainment, sports and cultural events into a virtually empty slate in the first half of 2020.