A number of convention centers around the world have begun setting up as medical facilities for coronavirus patients before hospitals reach their maximum capacities. New Orleans’ center is just the latest one. Here are scenes from a few of the other venues participating in the effort.
Madrid’s largest exhibition centre is being transformed into a hospital, where 5,500 beds will be installed, as Spain ramps up its efforts to battle against the coronavirus pandemic. The country on Saturday reported a 32 percent spike in new deaths from the coronavirus, bringing the national total to 1,326 fatalities, the second-highest in Europe after Italy.
As stressful as the coronavirus pandemic has been for meeting and event planners, those who work in the hotel industry are having as difficult a time as can be imagined. Right now, many hotels are trying to contribute to the solution and also generate some income by acting as makeshift hospitals for coronavirus patients or housing healthcare workers who must stay isolated in their off hours from the rest of society.
Further, some big cities that expect a surge in virus patients soon could convert their public-hospital system plans to intensive care units only, which means they would send patients who do not have the virus to improvised medical facilities such as hotels. In fact, New York is doing this now.
Even after the pandemic is defeated, hotel sales and service reps will have their hands full as they try to accommodate what is expected to be an unprecedented crush of meetings, conventions, and trade shows trying to take place before the end of 2020.