WATERTOWN — The former Convergys call center and the Watertown Municipal Arena are possible surge sites if more hospital beds are needed because of the coronavirus crisis.
Jefferson County submitted those sites after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo requested that plans be put into place in case more hospital beds are needed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Jefferson County board chairman Scott A. Gray said the state asked for two available “open” locations and what local hospitals would do if the “surge beds” were needed.
“They asked us to provide local sites just in case they were needed,” Mr. Gray said.
He said the former call center on Arsenal Street and the ice arena would require “more build out” than already existing space in hospitals, he said.
The city was not asked to provide information about size and space assessment on the arena or call center.
Carthage Area Hospital officials were involved in providing information on what they could do. Carthage Area Hospital could convert a skilled nursing unit that was previously closed into surge bed space, while Claxton-Hepburn Medical Hospital in Ogdensburg has a floor that could be used.
Samaritan Medical Center has its own plan, Mr. Gray said. Details were not available on Thursday.
Erin E. Gardner, the city’s parks and recreation superintendent, said that ice at the arena was removed a month earlier than usual in case the arena is needed for hospital beds.