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Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s call for additional locations for triage centers and increased hospital bed capacity on Sunday, March 15, sparked an idea for Councilman Robert Holden: Creedmoor.

Creedmoor is a large, state-owned site in Queens Village that includes a psychiatric center and other buildings. On Monday, with the number of coronavirus cases in the state now at at least 950, Holden called on the governor calling to utilize Creedmoor as a triage center for COVID-19 cases. 

He wrote that he believed that the under-utilized property could add thousands of beds to the state’s current hospital capacity. The complex has nearly 10,000 beds, with potentially more in the site’s several abandoned buildings, according to Holden.

Part of the complex is Creedmoor’s psychiatric center, once a massive institution for the mentally ill. It currently contains about 480 beds, according to The City.

“The Creedmoor complex in northern Queens has ample space, empty buildings and recently constructed homes that could serve as a triage center should the need ever occur. I call on the governor to seriously consider this proposition as he prepares further action to curb the spread of this deadly virus,” said Holden, a member of the City Council Health Committee.

Cuomo recently sent a letter to President Trump calling on him to deploy the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to create temporary medical centers by retrofitting existing buildings like military bases or college dormitories before the state’s healthcare system becomes overwhelmed with COVID-19 hospitalizations.

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