NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — There has been a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations the past few weeks with those numbers expected to climb. At Yale New Haven Hospital, they’re doing what they can to prepare and meet this demand.

The turnaround, just outside the main entrance of the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, will soon become an emergency room annex. There will be room for about 35 patient areas.

“In preparation for the flu season and our expectation for the increase in additional COVID patients, we’ve identified areas inside as well as external to provide us more space should our patient demand increase,” said Michael Holmes, Executive Vice President and COO of Yale New Haven Hospital.

The hope for this temporary space is to prevent backup within the waiting rooms and hallways of the emergency department. Holmes shared with News 8 what it will look like once it’s done.

“We’re going to put new flooring down, walls all the way around, we’ll have heaters, we’ll have bathrooms,” Holmes explained. “Probably for the lowest priority, lowest acuity, least sick emergency patients that come in.”

The need for this additional space doesn’t just stem from the pandemic and cold and flu season.

“Patients who have delayed their care over the last 24 months or since the pandemic has started are coming back,” Holmes said. “Not only are they coming back, but they’re also coming back sicker.”

They are also staying longer and driving up occupancy.

“Our teams are extremely tired,” Holmes said. “So, anything the community can do to help us in preventing these surges — for example, please get your vaccination, please get a booster shot, please get a flu shot, please wear your mask.”

The North Pavillion turnaround, outside of the Smilow cancer center, will be used in the interim. Construction for this space is already underway and it is expected to be wrapped up by mid-January.