As Hospital Beds Near Capacity in Philly Region, Hotels Step Up

Three hotels in Philadelphia are now available for quarantine and isolation cases, and the Liacouris Center will be open by April 16 as a fully operational hospital.

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Three hotels in Philadelphia are now available overflow sites as hospitals in the region fill with COVID-19 patients, city officials said Wednesday.

"We are seeing increasing numbers of cases for this infection in hospitals," Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said Wednesday. "The hospital data says that we're not necessarily past the worst of this yet. I'm hopeful that we are near the top, but we're maybe not yet."

He said, regionally, about 40% of hospital beds remain open as well as one in four intensive care unit beds. But some hospitals are filling up faster than others.

"Some hospitals in the region have been hit harder than others and some of them are near capacity, especially for intensive care unit beds," Farley said. "So some of these hospitals may need to be transferring patients to other hospitals or diverting patients."

Sites for overflow patients and people in quarantine and isolation are now available and City Managing Director Brian Abernathy said Philadelphia "has significant capacity right now."

Two hotels, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott in Center City and SpringHill Suites by Marriott at the Philadelphia Airport, have signed lease agreements with the city to use as space for first responders in quarantine and isolation, city officials said.

They are in addition to the Holiday Inn Express in Center City, which currently has 40 people in quarantine and isolation, and the Liacouras Center at Temple University in North Philadelphia.

The arena on Temple's campus is set to open as a fully operational hospital by April 16, officials said. It will have 180 beds to care for both recovering coronavirus patients and non-COVID-19 patients.

NBC10's Miguel Martinez-Valle reports from North Philadelphia where Temple University's Liacouras Center opens Thursday to take in overflow COVID-19 patients if needed.

Abernathy said the city is still working on more overflow capacity for people in quarantine and patients who need full medical attention.

"Do we have enough capacity? I think, optimistically, we think so, but we are working with a couple other hotels as a just in case," he said.

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