By Alecia Reid

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) — As the coronavirus crisis continues, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is planning to set up multiple field hospitals in New Jersey. One of those sites is the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Gov. Phil Murphy says additional capacity is needed to treat a potential influx of COVID-19 patients. The state is working hard to ensure that space is provided.

It was eerily quiet inside the convention center’s Main Hall on Wednesday, but not for long.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Murphy identified the convention center as one of three locations, where additional beds will be added. Murphy says the center will hold 250 additional beds.

“We will fight to save every single life,” Murphy said.

There are just over 18,000 acute care beds available in the state and 2,000 of those beds are for critical care.

Murphy says the 1,000 additional beds will need to be ready rather quickly in order to aid residents who may need it.

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“Everyone is indispensable,” Murphy said. “We will leave nothing on the battlefield. There is no cost that is too high to save any one precious life. Let’s all remember that we are America. We’re the country that never leaves the fallen soldier injured or killed on the battlefield.” 

CBS3 was the only camera inside the facility on Wednesday as the site prepares for what’s to come in the next few days.

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small says his town is ready.


“That goes to show the type of facilities we have here in Atlantic City that we can have things — whether it’s an emergency or not — we have the facilities here in town,” Small said.

The other two locations that have been identified are in the northern part of the state.

State officials are working with FEMA to get the sites up and running as soon as possible.