//Race to construct momentary hospitals nationwide as coronavirus spreads

Race to construct momentary hospitals nationwide as coronavirus spreads

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is taking a look at 114 services in all 50 states to transform into potential momentary hospitals in an effort to extend the nation’s hospital capability in preparation for an anticipated inflow of a whole lot of hundreds of coronavirus patients.

Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, the commanding normal of the Military Corps of Engineers, mentioned Friday afternoon he’s notably “concerned” concerning the virus quickly spreading to different areas of the nation because the variety of infections in america topped 100,000 Friday.

Semonite additionally introduced he’s planning to transform Chicago’s McCormick Place conference middle right into a makeshift hospital to deal with 3,000 Covid-19 sufferers by April 24, at a value of $75 million.

Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, USACE Commanding General, surveys the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, USACE Commanding Basic, surveys the Jacob Javits Conference Middle in New York Thursday.
(U.S. Military Corps of Engineers)

The coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented for the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers – which is working in opposition to the clock to transform present conference facilities, dorms, and lodges into functioning hospitals for each COVID-19 and non COVID-19 sufferers earlier than the outbreak reaches its peak and overwhelms hospitals nationwide.

“We’ve never done a pandemic capability. We don’t have on the shelf designs on how to modify hotels into COVID centers,” Semonite instructed reporters at a Pentagon information convention Friday. “We are cutting contracts every night to be able to get contractors to be able to come to facilities.”

On Monday, the most important momentary hospital but constructed will open in New York Metropolis to non-COVID-19 sufferers. The Javits Conference Middle is now a 2,900-bed hospital, every mattress separated by curtains and divided into 10 x 10 foot cubicles. The area is supplied with nurses’ stations and engineers are including showers.

New York state is at the moment floor zero for coronavirus within the U.S. The state has 53,000 hospital beds however officers venture they may want 140,000 on the top of the disaster in three weeks’ time.

“We have a very narrow window of opportunity and if we don’t meet it we will miss out,” Semonite instructed Fox Information. “It’s not a question of, ‘How long do I need?’ It’s ‘How long do I have?’”

The Javits conversion is one in every of 4 momentary hospitals that may open within the New York space throughout the subsequent two weeks. Three different places embody dormitories at two State College of New York campuses on Lengthy Island.

The rooms are singularly ventilated, permitting COVID-19 sufferers to be in managed and pressurized environments.

“We would go in and bring down the pressure 2 or 3 [pounds per square inch],” Lt. Basic Semonite defined. “Then on the door we would put on a great big plastic – with a zipper – and you’d walk into a controlled room.”

Wi-fi tools will permit for every lodge or dorm room to be monitored remotely by nurses, reducing again on the variety of personnel wanted and limiting the danger of contamination.

New York is the check mannequin for the Corps of Engineers, who’re speaking with at the least 21 engineer planning groups in different states that haven’t but been as closely impacted by COVID-19.

“We’re learning things every single day,” Semonite instructed Fox Information outdoors the Javits Middle Friday. “When the New York engineers learn how to do a different configuration, we’re then exporting that right away to my team in Washington D.C. and they’re pushing that out to California, Washington and Florida.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo mentioned Friday he has requested President Trump to approve the development of 4 extra momentary hospitals. The governor mentioned he needs to have a 1,000+ mattress facility in each New York Metropolis borough and within the hardest-hit surrounding counties of Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester.

In different phrases, Cuomo is asking the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers to equip the state with 8,000 momentary hospital beds in eight places by the top of April.

On Friday, Governor Cuomo scouted the newly proposed momentary hospital websites on the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, CUNY Staten Island, and the New York Expo Middle within the Bronx.

“We’re also looking at hotels and nursing homes,” Cuomo mentioned. “We’re looking far and wide, [being] very creative, aggressive and finding all the space that we can possibly find.”


A further 1,000 hospital beds for non-COVID-19 sufferers is arriving in New York Harbor on Monday. The Navy hospital ship, USNS Consolation, has 12 working rooms and 1,200 medical personnel.

The U.S. Military has despatched roughly 650 medical personnel from two discipline hospitals to New York Metropolis to replenish the primary responder ranks – battling the invisible contagion.

“This is a rescue mission you’re on,” Cuomo instructed a contingency of Nationwide Guard troops contained in the Javits Middle. “The mission is to save lives, that’s what you’re doing.”