Makeshift medical center for coronavirus patients planned for Larimer County

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LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) -- A makeshift medical center for coronavirus patients is planned for the Larimer County fairgrounds, also known as The Ranch.

It's a venue that usually hosts events like rodeos and concerts.

"What we are trying to do is make sure we are ready to go within 24 hours of needing something. That means moving supplies out there and making sure that we could set it up and have staffing ready to go," said Katie O'Donnell, a spokesperson for the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were 61 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Larimer County.

One person in the county has died.

There are concerns that hospitals could see an unmanageable surge of cases flood in from rural communities.

"I think with the testing delays here in our community and the results taking so long to get back, we assume we have a lot already in our community that we have not confirmed yet," said O'Donnell.

The makeshift facility could house COVID-19 patients who no longer need critical care.

People experiencing homelessness who have tested positive and require isolation may also be housed at the facility.

"We haven’t made decisions necessarily on what kind of care, set-up we would need. But we are working with our health care systems about what their needs might be," O'Donnell said.

Larimer County has cots it can set up in its buildings on the fairgrounds.

Larimer County’s emergency preparedness team says it began working on mobilizing two weeks ago. It could begin setting up its field hospital as early as Friday.

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