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Empty Colorado Convention Center COVID-19 field hospital costing state $60,000 a day

The field hospital was supposed to have up to 2,000 beds but now has just 250.

DENVER — Officials had hoped the COVID-19 field hospital at the Colorado Convention Center would never be used, and so far they’re getting their wish.

But, this comes with a price.

The lease alone to utilize the 250-bed space at the Colorado Convention Center costs $60,000 per day, according to Micki Trost, the spokesperson for the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

The state is holding onto the field hospital in case of a second wave of the novel coronavirus in late summer or fall. The lease runs through the end of the year, meaning that in leasing cost alone, the Convention Center hospital will cost $12 million.

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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.

The field hospitals weren’t meant to treat seriously ill patients who needed ventilators. Instead, they were meant to essentially be a step next for patients who had recovered enough to leave intensive care.

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