Deja Vu: Field Hospitals Reopening in Several Cities

Facilities in Wisconsin and Rhode Island recall onset of COVID-19 pandemic

December 3, 2020

MikeDotta /

It’s deja vu all over again.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, hospitals in several cities – including New York City and Chicago – opened field hospitals to help larger facilities deal with the rapidly growing numbers of patients with COVID-19 seeking treatment for the illness. Now, a growing number of hospitals are taking similar steps as the long-anticipated resurgence of the coronavirus plays out.

Rhode Island is opening its two field hospitals as COVID-19 hospitalizations near an all-time high, according to The Providence Journal. Care New England opened its 353-bed field hospital Monday on Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston. The site is for COVID patients who aren't critically ill. If patients get more sick, they will be transferred to Kent Hospital in Warwick, also operated by Care New England.

Rhode Island Hospital will open its 600-bed field hospital in the Convention Center Tuesday, starting with an estimated 24 to 48 patients with a capacity of 100 patients. Both field hospitals will treat patients who are not critically ill. If patients worsen, they will be taken to a regular hospital. Click here to read the article.

Milwaukee also reopened a 530-bed field hospital recently that it had built in April. The field hospital was built at a cost of more than $15 million, including equipment, in roughly 10 days by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in April when the pandemic was ravaging New York City and hospitals feared they would be overwhelmed by patients.

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