Defense Media Network

VA to Open Beds to Non-Veterans to Assist New York City with COVID-19 Response

Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it is opening a total of 50 beds (35 acute care and 15 intensive care unit) to non-Veteran, non-COVID patients to help assist New York City in its COVID-19 response efforts.

VA’s decision comes in response to a request the department received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after the state of New York asked FEMA for federal assistance.

VA made its decision after determining this action would not negatively impact Veteran care.

The transfer of five non-COVID patients from community hospitals to VA New York Harbor Healthcare System’s Manhattan and Brooklyn campuses is underway, and both campuses continue to receive Veteran patients.

“VA is proud to assist the City of New York while continuing its primary mission of caring for our Nation’s Veterans,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said.

States may request assistance from the Federal Government through their local Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Regional Emergency Coordinator (REC), as part of FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center. Counties, cities, and other municipalities should route all requests for Federal support through their respective states.

VA continues to strongly encourage Veterans, staff members, and their families to take everyday precautions to protect against respiratory illnesses caused by COVID-19, the flu, and the common cold, and to follow the guidance of their local and state healthcare and emergency management officials.