Columbia University converting soccer stadium into coronavirus field hospital

Columbia University is converting its upper Manhattan soccer stadium into a field hospital for the coronavirus pandemic.

The domed facility at 218th Street in Inwood, known as the Bubble, will house up to 288 patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms beginning early next week, the university announced Thursday.

“Creating a medical treatment facility inside a dome normally used by our varsity athletes is a first for Columbia,” said Peter Pilling, Campbell Family Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, in a statement.

“Everyone has a part to play in this crisis, and we are proud to do what we can to support the health care workers and volunteers who are on the front lines, treating COVID-19 patients.”

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center are partnering with the city and state governments to develop the emergency hospital in hopes to alleviate the badly overwhelmed hospital system that has buckled in the county’s outbreak epicenter.

New York state has reported more than 159,000 positive coronavirus patients as well as more than 7,000 virus-related deaths as of Thursday evening.

Typically used as an indoor winter practice facility for Columbia Lions, workers this month began installing special flooring and other amenities to support patients, staff and medical equipment.

The care center will be staffed primarily with former US military personnel in conjunction with NewYork-Presbyterian’s frontline staff.

The field hospital will be named after the late Navy Seal Ryan F. Larkin and will join others erected in Central Park, the Javits Center and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

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