Four Seasons Hotel in New York Will Open Its Doors to Hospital Workers, Says Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Ashley Boucher

The Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan is opening its rooms up for health care workers in the city.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Twitter Wednesday that the luxury hotel will “provide FREE lodging to doctors, nurses & medical personnel currently working to respond to the #COVID19 pandemic.”

“Thank you @FourSeasons,” Cuomo added. “The first of many hotels we hope will make their rooms available.”

The hotel’s president and CEO, John Davison, previously said in a press release on March 18 that “we are adhering to the latest information, protocols and tools from the world’s leading health experts and government authorities – including the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control – to maximize the effectiveness of our response.”

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Ty Warner, Founder of Ty Inc. (and the creator of Beanie Babies) who owns the hotel, made the decision to open up the facility to health care workers, he says, because they “are working tirelessly on the front lines of this crisis. They need a place close to work where they can rest and regenerate.”

New York is currently one of the epicenters of the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and Cuomo has issued a lockdown in the state. This includes “100 percent of the workforce” being ordered to stay home, except for “essential services” like health care workers.

Later on Wednesday, Cuomo said in another tweet that Jet Blue “is donating free flights for incoming medical volunteers heading to New York State.”

“Thank you @JetBlue for transporting the vital personnel we need. So grateful for the help,” the governor added.

New York is currently desperate for medical supplies like masks and ventilators, and Cuomo said that he expects the need for 140,000 hospital beds at the peak of the state’s crisis — which is more than double the current capacity, according to NBC New York.

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The governor said that obtaining enough ventilators is “our single biggest challenge” on Wednesday, NBC New York reported; the state currently has 11,000 but is in need of 30,000.

As of Wednesday evening, there are at least 33,066 cases of COVID-19 in the state of New York, with 285 deaths, according to the New York Times — that’s more than half of the total number of confirmed cases in the U.S.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.