Makeshift hospital at TCF Center could accept patients as soon as Friday

Posted at 5:48 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 07:06:02-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — We are hearing new information about when the TCF Center could start accepting patients.

The 723,000 square foot TCF Center, formerly known as COBO, is the 17th largest convention center in the country. The finishing touches are underway as the State of Michigan and FEMA transform the TCF Center into a field hospital. The Army Corp of Engineers says it will be done with the buildout of the one thousand patient hospital by Wednesday.

Mayor Mike Duggan announced it could start to be used as soon as Friday. It will at first provide beds for up to 25 patients, and then will be scaled up.

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Mayor Mike Duggan announced it could start to be used as soon as Friday. It will at first provide beds for up to 25 patients, and then will be scaled up.

“It is for COVID only patients. There’s going to be 2 different levels. There’s going to be 600 patients on one floor and 400 on the other floor, said Nick Zager, Chief of the Detroit Alternate Care Facility Project Office.

“The plan is now to have 25 beds on Friday, 25 beds on Saturday, and ramp up the first 200 - 250 beds and see what happens,” said Mayor Mike Duggan.

From what we have heard this will likely not be a place where you come on your own. It is possible patients will be transferred here from hospitals if they are non-critical, not on ventilators, but still in need of oxygen and medical care.

Mayor Mike Duggan says if people continue to practice social distancing - hopefully we will not need 1,000 beds.

“Two-hundred-fifty beds or 1,000 beds has nothing to do with who is running the center. It has to do with the people in this community. Do we care enough about each other that when it is 67 degrees and sunny we don’t go and gather together and give this virus new energy?” said Duggan.

The state is facing a challenge when it comes to finding staff to work at such a large field hospital during this crisis. Demand for healthcare workers is high. A state spokesperson said efforts around staffing at TCF are ongoing, so at this time it can’t comment on specifics.

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