D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has announced that the Walter E. Washington Convention Center was transformed into an emergency field hospital in case of a rise of coronavirus cases in the coming months.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Bowser said she hoped to never have to use the convention center for coronavirus treatment, but it was ready with its staff as an “insurance policy” to serve the city.
There are more than 400 beds for expected patients at the center, which took 22 days to prepare for this specific purpose.
We'll be live at 11 am to showcase the conversion of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center into an alternate care site to support DC’s coronavirus (COVID-19) response.
— Mayor Muriel Bowser #StayHomeDC (@MayorBowser) May 11, 2020
“The patients who will be coming here will be low acuity COVID-positive patients, meaning these are patients who need neither a ventilator or an ICU bed,” the mayor said, adding that patients whose conditions become more severe would be moved to an acute care hospital.
The total number of positive cases in the District was 6,485 at the time of our reporting, while the total death toll from the virus was 336. So far, 31,050 tests were administered on possible COVID-19 patients.