Army Corp of Engineers setting up field hospitals across the US to help combat COVID-19

Coronavirus
Army Corp of Engineers setting up field hospitals across the US to help combat COVID-19

In this Friday, March 27, 2020 photo provided by Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, makeshift hospital rooms stretch out along the floor at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York. New York Gov. Cuomo said the state wants to build four more temporary hospitals in New York City within weeks, before coronavirus cases are projected to peak. (Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo via AP)

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The Army Corp of Engineers is looking at more than 300 facilities nationwide that it could turn into hospitals.

New York City’s Javits Convention Center opened as a temporary hospital on Monday. Thousands of beds are now set up to receive patients who are not suffering from COVID-19.

The field hospital is staffed with hospital units from Fort Campbell and Fort Hood.

Wayne Brackin, the CEO of Kidz Medical Services, has experience with field hospitals and hospital hurricane responses in Florida. He says the Army can set up a field hospital in just weeks.

“It will have the feeling of being in a mass unit,” said Brackin. “You’ll come into a different kind of facility. They’ll be higher levels of security. You’re clearly in most cases going to be going into a structure that’s been built and will have a lot of components that will look like a very sophisticated version of a tent.”

Brackin says an advantage of an existing structure is it’s typically climate controlled.

The Army is sending field hospitals to Washington state and New Jersey. It says they’ll be running by April 2.

Navy hospital ships that arrived in New York and outside Los Angeles have started accepting non-COVID-19 patients.

A field hospital also opened Tuesday in New York City’s Central Park. It’s run by Christian humanitarian aid organization Samaritan’s Purse. The group usually brings doctors to extreme medical situations around the world.

The Central Park field hospital is designed as a respiratory care unit. They plan to see dozens of coronavirus patients.

The organization says it’s bringing-in a large disaster response team with doctors and nurses.

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