Military members arrive at Coney Island Hospital to assist with COVID surge

U.S. Military service members arrive at Coney Island Hospital to help the battle the COVID-19 outbreak in southern Brooklyn.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Coney Island Hospital is getting a helping hand in the battle against COVID-19!

On Monday morning, local electeds and hospital officials lauded the arrival of military service members, sent by President Joe Biden to assist the southern Brooklyn hospital with the overflow of coronavirus patients in wake of the national Omicron surge.

“Right now our COVID ward is under-staffed and overworked,” said Mitchell Katz, president and chief executive officer of the NYC Health + Hospitals system, which controls the hospital. “We need all the help we can get. I am glad they arrived.”

Earlier this month, Brooklyn Paper reported that Biden was dispatching federal personnel to assist six hospitals in six different states to work alongside healthcare workers on the frontline to combat the surge by helping take the strain off overwhelmed emergency departments, aimed at freeing up healthcare professionals to continue providing care elsewhere. 

On top of helping at Coney Island Hospital, the New York-based team will also assist at North Central Bronx Hospital in the Bronx, a Health + Hospitals rep previously told Brooklyn Paper.

U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries speaks at a press conference during the arrival of military personnel.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Officials told the press on Jan. 24 that the ward at Coney Island Hospital has seen an 80 percent increase in COVID-19 patients during the latest wave of the virus.

“I am thankful for the arrival of the US military to help during this difficult time when the southern district needs you most,” said U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. “We have brought in the best of the best to make a difference for workers at the hospital.”

At this time, it is undetermined how long the service members will assist the hospital.

The 11235 Zip Code, where Coney Island Hospital is located, has seen 1043 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the last seven days. In that area, 71.66 percent of people are fully vaccinated, which is lower than the median of 74.64 percent in the Five Boroughs, according to city data.

The Zip Code saw its peak on Jan. 8, when 37.09 percent of tests came back positive, accounting for 3,268 people testing positive. 

Citywide, 14.74 percent of tests have recorded positive results over the past seven days, equalling 9,536 total cases.

Additional reporting by Aidan Graham