SECAUCUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Gov. Phil Murphy and Sen. Bob Menendez toured a new field hospital at the Meadowlands Exposition Center this morning in Secaucus.

The facility will be used to treat non-coronavirus patients, in order to free up beds at area hospitals.

The governor said a “soft opening” is set for Monday, and the state is working to line up the staff and supplies.

WATCH: Gov. Murphy, Sen. Menendez Tour Meadowlands Field Hospital  

“Of course, this is only the end of the beginning, as opposed to the beginning of the end,” he said while taking the tour. “So God bless you all, thank you for everything you’ve done to get this going.”

Menendez thanked Murphy for his leadership and the Army Corps of Engineers for its help in this crisis.

“You’ve made a lot of tough decisions, and I believe those decisions are going to save lives,” he said. “Our goal is to have maximum capacity available. I’m glad that the federal government responded to our request to both FEMA and to lets us use the Army Corps for these purposes. We expand capacity and we pray every day that we don’t need it.”

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

On Wednesday, the governor said the state received more desperately needed medical equipment from the federal government.

“Another 350 ventilators are being released from the strategic national stockpile and heading to New Jersey. This is on top of the 300 that we took possession of, I believe yesterday morning, and that we are checking and going through and are testing, preparing to deploy,” said Murphy. “We have on our own procured nearly 10 million pieces of personal protective equipment that are beginning to flow into our warehouses and will be allocated to the front lines.”

The governor said he requested a total of 2,300 ventilators, and so far he’s received 700.



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