March 20, 2020 — Some U.S. colleges are converting empty dorms into temporary housing for coronavirus patients.

That could prove crucial if hospitals nationwide are swamped with a surge of coronavirus cases that push them beyond their capacity, the Associated Press reported.

On Wednesday, Tufts University in Massachusetts said it’s making hundreds of vacant dorm rooms available in coming weeks to help relieve “unprecedented stress” on the health care system.

The school’s president called on other U.S. universities to do the same, saying they have a civic duty to help in times of crisis, the AP reported.

Middlebury College in Vermont is offering some of its buildings, and New York University is asking students who live near campus clear out their dorm rooms in case they’re needed to house coronavirus patients.

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