You are reading

Nearly 170 Nurses Brought Into Elmhurst Hospital to Treat Coronavirus Patients

Elmhurst Hospital (Photo: QueensPost)

March 30, 2020 By Allie Griffin

The City has added 169 contract nurses to Elmhurst Hospital — dubbed the “epicenter of the epicenter” of the coronavirus pandemic — in order to assist existing staff overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

The contract nurses are a combination of registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and physicians. They are part of 500 nurses who were added throughout the city’s public hospitals last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday.

The public hospital system, NYC Health + Hospitals, will add an additional 500 nurses to its hospitals this week as well, de Blasio said.

“Elmhurst and our NYC Health + Hospital system are at the center of this epidemic,” de Blasio said. “We’re in a state of war, but we cannot go to battle without ammunition. To those who are on the frontlines: your City is behind you, and more help is on the way.”

In addition, 45 clinicians have been reassigned from outpatient to inpatient for additional reinforcement at Elmhurst.

The hospital also received 8,000 N95 masks, 18,000 head covers, and 2,000 medical booties this week and the City has re-supplied Elmhurst’s number of ventilators four times in the last 10 days and distributed an additional 55 ventilators.

Last week, Council Member Francisco Moya, who was born at Elmhurst Hospital and now represents the neighborhood, sent a desperate plea to President Donald Trump to send more resources to the hospital.

“As you know, New York is the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States but ground zero is Elmhurst Hospital,” he wrote. “It is currently operating well beyond capacity.”

Moya said Elmhurst Hospital doctors describe the scenes there in apocalyptic terms and speak with desperation in their voices.

“Patients are reportedly dying in the emergency room still waiting for a bed,” he wrote to Trump. “Residents line the block, standing inside barricades and in the rain waiting to get tested.”

On Sunday, the images of body bags at Elmhurst Hospital appeared to resonate with the president, who grew up in Queens.

“I’ve been watching that for the last week on television body bags all over in hallways,” Trump said at a press briefing. “I have been watching them bring in trailer trucks, freezer trucks — they are freezer trucks because they can’t handle the bodies, there are so many of them.”

In just a 24-hour span last week, the hospital lost 13 patients to the novel coronavirus.

“This is essentially in my community in Queens — Queens, New York,” Trump added. “I have seen things I’ve never seen before. I mean, I’ve seen them, but I’ve seen them on television in faraway lands.”

The images struck home with Trump, who announced that the national social distancing guidelines will be extended through April 30. It was a drastic shift from last week when he claimed that he would reopen the country’s businesses and bring workers back out of their homes.

“These are trucks that are as long as the Rose Garden and they are pulling up to take out bodies, and you look inside and you see the black body bags,” Trump said. “You say, ‘What’s in there? It’s Elmhurst Hospital, must be supplies.’ It’s not supplies; it’s people.”

As of this Monday evening, more than 300 Queens residents had died from the coronavirus. The World’s Borough has the highest death toll in New York City, where 914 residents have died citywide.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
Colleen Henry

Hi my mom and I ,we are so proud you the staff and all that they do for the patients both of us used to work there, My mo. Did 21_years, and I did 36 years as of last year I retired, Congratulations to them and bless them all!

Chad Atour

It’s a big business. Average pay is $7500 to $10,000 per WEEK for contract nurses. The Staffing companies though, get the big finder fees and sometimes percentages.

This matters because there uses fine line between supply,/ demand, and price gouging even when it comes to labor. This, as the frontline staff employees of these institutions all receive furloughs and paycuts.

Gardens Watcher

Cuomo has ordered all public and private hospitals to work together. Plus we now have the new temp hospitals like the Javits Center. Who knows where you’ll end up if you have to go to the ER?

Stay home. Stay healthy.

Joan Burkhardt

God bless Elmhurst hospital workers. From doctors to janitors. All are important to me. This is my go to hospital. I’m scared and cancelled all my appointments. JB


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Op-Ed: This Year’s State Budget Must Prioritize Climate, Jobs, and Justice for New York

Op-Ed, Jan. 30, By Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas

In a time of rampant economic inequality and environmental injustice, it is easy to feel defeated.  Here in Queens and across New York State, however, communities are organizing for a better future. New Yorkers from different backgrounds and with different lived experiences are proving that we can build community, organize, and create a future that reflects our shared values.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946 to 1950 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.