The state is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct alternate medical care facilities, including at the Colorado Convention Center, in the event of a surge of patients at hospitals due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, the state has signed leases with the convention center in Denver and the Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events Complex in Loveland. The Corps will begin construction on Friday to turn them into Tier 3 shelters, which will provide medical services for patients not in critical care. The Colorado State Emergency Operations Center noted that these are not “field hospitals,” which are temporary operations typically associated with battlefields or disasters.
The state plans to lease three additional spaces. All of the alternate locations will accept patients only from hospitals and healthcare facilities. There will be no walk-ins for people seeking initial diagnosis. There are already agreements in place for facilities in Westminster, Pueblo and Grand Junction, which were formerly medical sites and will offer more intensive services than the Tier 3 locations.
April 27 is the anticipated completion date for converting the Colorado Convention Center, which will have a capacity of 2,000 beds. The fairgrounds site will have 1,060 beds and will be finished on April 29.