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Governor Polis discusses overflow hospital at Colorado Convention Center

The facility will have the capacity for 2,000 beds, but Polis said he envisions the number of actual patients could be in the hundreds.

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis (D-Colorado) said he hopes the 2,000-bed field hospital currently under construction at the Colorado Convention Center will never be used, but during a news conference on Friday, he also said that likely won’t be the case.

“It’s also very unlikely it will need to be used in a large way, but looking at the numbers, it looks possible there will be hundreds of patients here,” Polis said.

Construction at the Colorado Convention Center began on Friday. It will be used as a facility for patients who no longer need ICU beds, but still require medical care in their battles against the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. People will not be able to walk up and receive care.

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Polis said 300 people are constructing the building, including 95 Coloradans.

The goal of this overflow hospital and the one at the Ranch in Larimer County is to ensure patients in Colorado who contract COVID-19 get a fighting chance to defeat the virus even if existing hospitals reach capacity, Polis said.

During a question and answer session with reporters outside of the under construction facility, Polis said the state is still building its plan to lifting the stay-at-home order which is slated to expire on April 26.

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He said restrictions on social gatherings will likely last for months in the absence of a cure or vaccine. The state is working to up its testing capacity, which has been hindered by a shortage of needed supplies.

“I don’t see a scenario where everyone gets tested,” Polis said.

Polis said in the coming months, the state will work to implement temperature checks and quarantine people who have been exposed to localized outbreaks of COVID-19, which of this writing has killed more than 200 Coloradans since it was first confirmed in the state in early March.

The governor also said that, due to dozens of outbreaks at Colorado senior care centers, he doesn’t envision visitation at these facilities returning to normal anytime soon.

“I would even predict that as long as this virus is present or there’s a vaccine or cure, there are likely to be limits on moving in and out of those facilities,” Polis said.

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