Medical shelters will provide support for possible second wave of coronavirus in Colorado

Posted at 6:09 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 21:11:08-04

LOVELAND, Colo. — The Army Corps of Engineers is in overdrive to build an alternate care site for coronavirius patients at The Ranch Events Complex in Larimer County.

Once Coloradans start heading back to work after the stay-at-home order is lifted on April 26 and April 30 in Denver, respectively, Governor Jared Polis says we can expect a second wave of infections.

”As we move towards reopening our economy it is likely incidents of the virus will increase again. It’s decreasing now, which is great, but we can’t stay closed forever,” Governor Polis said.

The alternate care site — one of two currently being built in the state — will provide relief for hospitals when that second wave hits. It will be staffed and run by Banner Health.

The medical shelter will be used to care for those recovering from COVID-19 who are no longer in critical care but still need treatment like oxygen.

“What we wanted to avoid at all cost was a breach of the ability of our hospitals from being able to give basic care to those whose lives can be saved,” Polis said.

The Army Corps of Engineers is working to build the 400-600 bed facility by the end of the month, with the first section completed by April 18.

“We can’t build this exactly perfect; it’s got to be mission essential and whatever it has to be to get it done on time - that’s what’s most important,” General Semonite said. “When the governor says, 'I need it by this day' we have to make sure an ambulance can pull up here and take care of all the great people of Colorado.”

As Colorado continues to see the number of coronavirus cases flatten, Polis said the project could be scaled back.

A similar facility is being constructed at the Denver Convention Center that will be run by Denver Health.

Polis sayid both medical shelters will remain open for several months.