Colorado National Guard, Army Corps of Engineers could team up to turn college dorms, hotels into temporary hospitals

Coronavirus

Empty Bed On Hospital Ward

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DENVER (KDVR) — Health officials said the Colorado National Guard and Army Corps of Engineers could work together to convert hotels, stand alone emergency centers and college dorms into temporary hospitals to assist with the influx of coronavirus patients into hospitals across the state.

In the coming weeks, the National Guard said tens of thousands of National Guard members across the U.S. could be called up to assist with the fight against COVID-19.

Right now, Colorado has 13,000 hospital beds to serve patients. However, health officials worry that will not be enough to cover the surge of patients that need serious medical help because of COVID-19.

Health officials said Coloradans could see National Guard members and the Army Corps of Engineers work to convert hotels, free standing emergency centers, surgery clinics and college dorms into temporary hospitals.

In the meantime, UCHealth said traditional care plans are being drastically revised to deal with COVID-19, which requires isolation units.

“What’s different and difficult about this is not knowing how many and how fast we are going to get patients,” said Julie Lonborg, Senior Vice President of the Colorado Hospital Association.

Once a coronavirus patient no longer needs critical care, they could be moved from a larger hospital in the metro to a rural hospital to free up space for incoming COVID-19 patients.

Health officials said the next 5 to 15 days will determine if state has been able to slow the spread of the virus.

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