Coronavirus

Controversial Central Park Field Hospital to Close; Samaritan’s Purse Staffers Will Stay at Mount Sinai

Officials said the field hospital will stop admitting patients by Monday, May 4

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Mount Sinai Hospital is closing down the field hospital in Central Park after treating 315 patients infected with COVID-19.

Local officials, including City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, had called on Mount Sinai Hospital to close the field hospital over Samaritan's Purse's practice of requiring staff to sign a pledge against same-sex marriage.

The field hospital still supported eight patients as of Friday.

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Officials said the field hospital will stop admitting patients by May 4, but it could take two weeks to treat the remaining patients and decontaminate the tents.

State Senator Brad Hoylman told NBC New York approximately 40 Samaritan's Purse staffers will stay within the Mount Sinai system, redeployed to Beth Israel Hospital.

"I was told by Mount Sinai yesterday that Samaritan's Purse will be relocating from Central Park to a floor of Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital on 17th Street in my senate district. I expressed opposition to the hospital’s continued relationship with the homophobic Franklin Graham I have a question why they continue to support one another. I’m afraid the consequences of this poisonous relationship will linger.”

A hospital spokesperson says "In March, with the survey in critically ill COVID patients growing, NY hospitals were tasked with growing their capacity 50%. Now that the surge in hospital admissions is reaching manageable levels, we will stop admitting new patients to the Central Park field hospital as of May 4."

The hospital spokesperson said a phase-out of Samaritan's Purse employees will be slower at Beth Israel Hospital because the hospital is still in need of health care workers.

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