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Chicago, New York Closing Temporary Coronavirus Hospitals


By Greg Zimmerman Emergency Preparedness
temporary field hospital javits center

While the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, there continue to be glimmers of hope: Medical experts all over the country are saying we’ve successfully flattened the curve, and so hospitalizations are decreasing, and the rates of infections are slowing. As a result, temporary field hospitals erected in late March and early April to care for a worst-case-scenario influx of coronavirus patients are beginning to be decommissioned. These include perhaps the two most notable examples.

In New York City, the field hospital at the Javits Convention Center closed last Friday as the final patients were discharged. The hospital treated more than 1,000 coronavirus patients during its month of service, according to ABC7. The facility had a capacity to treat 2,500, but thankfully never reached even half that number. Though the facility won’t treat new patients, and the medical and support staff is being redeployed to other local hospitals, the equipment will remain in place in case of a second wave of coronavirus infections and patients.

In Chicago, the massive field hospital at the McCormick Place convention center is also closed for new patients, and 500 of its current 1,000-bed capacity will be broken down, according to the Chicago Tribune. The remaining 500 beds will remain for the immediate future as a backup plan against a spike in coronavirus hospitalizations. Though Illinois saw it’s largest one-day case total on Friday (3,137), and has yet to reach its peak, the rate of cases is slowing and officials are confident the originally planned 3,000-bed field hospital won’t be required. The facility treated a total of 29 patients since it opened in mid April. 

This post was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management and FacilitiesNet.com. 

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