Memphis COVID-19 Emergency Hospital Closure; installation never used
MEMPHIS, Tennessee – An emergency overflow hospital planned for COVID-19 patients in Memphis has been decommissioned but never used, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said on Monday.
The site was located in the 125,000 square foot building at 495 Union Ave. formerly occupied by The Commercial Appeal.
The building was renovated to make room for the beds of 402 COVID-19 patients. It opened on June 9, 2020.
“When the first predictions indicated a worst-case scenario with each state exceeding its COVID-19
patient capacity, we took immediate action in Tennessee to address the potential gap ”,
Governor Bill Lee said in a statement.
The state lease on the building runs until September 30. TEMA didn’t know what might happen next to the building.
Another similar hospital in Nashville was also deconstructed and medical supplies returned to TEMA.
The facilities were built after Tennessee received a major disaster declaration which made federal funding
available for COVID-19 response measures in April 2020.
“The alternative care sites in Tennessee have provided our healthcare system with a margin of safety and luckily we didn’t need to open either of those sites,” Lee said.
Tennessee reported 503 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday and 818 on Friday. The surge in numbers followed a drop in June which on some days saw fewer than 100 new cases reported in the state.
Shelby County had 117 reported cases on Sunday, after reaching a low of 20 new cases in mid-June.
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