DENVER — The state of Colorado has started to deconstruct two of the alternate care sites that were built at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Three of them – including the temporary field hospital at the Colorado Convention Center – will stay in place for now.
The sites that will be deconstructed include the Ranch Complex in Loveland and Western Memory Care Center in Grand Junction. The work to return these places to normal should end in mid-November, according to Colorado’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OEM).
“At this time, with a 3.41 seven-day average positivity rate, the state feels like it’s safe to close these two sites,” a news release from the agency reads.
In addition to the Colorado Convention Center, the St. Mary Corwin and St. Anthony 84th Avenue sites will remain in their current state should they be needed in the fall when COVID-19 cases could surge.
The field hospital at the Colorado Convention Center has not seen a patient, and costs the state $60,000 per day.
The state’s lease for the facility runs through the end of the year and in leasing costs alone, comes with a bill of $12 million.
The federal government footed the $34.6 million bill to begin construction on the Colorado Convention Center facility in early April. At the time, it was assumed this could hold as many as 2,000 beds – a number that was greatly scaled back to 250.
The Ranch in Loveland was also supposed to serve patients that couldn’t find a bed in overwhelmed hospitals, but that also never materialized.
“In the early days of the pandemic, Colorado saw rapid infection growth and modeling data indicated that we were on pace to far exceed the capacity of our healthcare system,” the release from the emergency office reads. “It was critical to build capacity outside of our hospitals to ensure that Coloradans would be able to have the care that they needed if we exceeded institutional capacity."
Now, supplies from the deconstructed field hospitals will be sent to the Colorado Convention Center for potential redistribution to other locations, the OEM said.
The agency said since the pandemic began, “Colorado doctors have also become more experienced in treating COVID-19 patients in ways that have better outcomes, shorter lengths of stay and less demand for ventilators.”
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