Chattanooga Convention Center Prepares For COVID-19 Patients


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Governor Bill Lee is preparing for positive Coronavirus test numbers to surge.

During a press conference the Governor announced that he was going to build temporary medical centers in four cities across the state.

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Chattanooga is one of those places.

All around the country temporary medical centers are popping up.

Yesterday, during a news briefing, Governor Bill Lee announced that, Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga will all host temporary medical centers for positive COVID-19 patients that are sick enough to need a hospital but not critical care.

Governor Bill Lee says, “This accelerates our efforts to work with the U.S Army Corps of engineers and expands our state wide capacity by an additional 7,000 beds. The Corps of engineers is working for FEMA and in partnership with our state in responding to this crisis.”

The Army Corps of Engineers will build the facility.

That involves controlling airflow into the facility, piping for oxygen, creating beds and partitions.

TEMA and Governor Lee have selected the Chattanooga Convention Center to house the patients.

The temporary medical hospital will be set up in their main banquet hall.

They are expecting to have 350 beds.

Their smaller banquet halls will be used for work rooms and break rooms for medical personnel.

The Executive Director of the Chattanooga Convention Center, Mike Shuford says, “We’re actually delighted that we’re able to be of help. Naturally, all of our events cancelled. We don’t do anything that is less than 10 people so we were available and glad we’re able to help out.”

According to the Governor, they are expecting to see Coronavirus numbers peak in the third week of April.

They have not started working on set up here in Chattanooga.

According to Governor Lee, they will begin building the Nashville temporary hospital first and will expand across the state as needed.