Tuesday, March 31, 2020

McCormick Place Will Be Setup to Accommodate Overflow Patients if Hospitals System Becomes Overwhelmed

Last week we were sort of surprised to see that the city was utilizing vacant hotels instead of McCormick place to treat overflow patients for covid-19.  Maybe it just wasn't publicly announced yet, because just a couple days ago it was announced (via Chicago Tribune):
As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Illinois climbed to more than 5,000 on Monday, work began on converting McCormick Place into a medical facility that could handle a potential crush of COVID-19 cases and help ease growing concerns about a possible bed shortage in the Chicago area.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the lakefront convention center will have 500 beds available by week’s end. The medical center, which is being called an alternate care facility, eventually will be able to hold 3,000 beds for patients, most of whom would have mild symptoms and would not require intensive care.
Another group of 500 beds should be available next week, with 1,250 more by April 20. The final 750 acute care beds will be in place by the end of next month, Pritzker said.

The article does note that McCormick Place is a last resort:
Pritzker said the McCormick facility will only be used as a last resort.
“The first place we are directing patients is to existing hospital beds, maximizing our underutilized hospitals first,” he said. “If we never have to go beyond our existing facilities, we will all be extremely happy.”

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