KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – While announcing the state’s new stay-at-home order, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee identified several sites across that state that may be converted into hospital spaces in anticipation of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Governor Bill Lee said the state is assessing sites across the state to build what he describes as, “alternative healthcare facilities.” Officials identified the Knoxville Expo Center as one of those locations, in addition to Nashville’s Music City Center, the Gateway Shopping Center in Memphis and the Chattanooga Convention Center.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved the State of Tennessee’s COVID-19 major disaster declaration which will give the state assistance from the US Army Corps of Engineers to make new medical facilities like the Knoxville Expo Center.
US Army Corps of Engineers Thursday described a four-step process to building out these facilities:
- Choose a site (already underway).
- US Army Corps of Engineers will build out the site to medical-acceptable standards, will require understanding of equipment, negative air pressure, etc.
- Supply the site with the equipment and materials necessary.
- Staffing the site with plenty of healthcare professionals to treat patients housed there.
Governor Lee said he will meet with Knoxville city leaders later Friday to discuss the building’s conversion. This is a developing story and we’ll continue to update the details as they become available.
- Coronavirus Timeline: Total COVID-19 cases near 175K, deaths now stand at 2,097 in the state
- CHART: Tennessee Department of Health’s count of coronavirus cases by day in state
- Greene County mayor extends mask mandate through September 30
- Video and pictures of packed house party near KU campus spark concern as virus cases rise
- Tennessee Coronavirus: Two weeks into September, state has seen a 12.48% increase in COVID-19 cases and a 19.56% increase in deaths
- Coronavirus in Tennessee: Knox County reports smallest 1-day increase in new cases so far in September
- Oxford and AstraZeneca resume coronavirus vaccine trial
- Tennessee Coronavirus: Total COVID-19 cases reach 171,824 with 933 new cases reported Sunday
- Coronavirus in Tennessee: Inactive cases rise by 204 as Knox County reports 121 new cases & no new deaths
- As Trump played down virus, health experts’ alarm grew
- Dakotas lead US in virus growth as both reject mask rules
- Tennessee Coronavirus: COVID-19 deaths hit 2,064 with 39 new ones reported Saturday
- Coronavirus in Tennessee: Inactive cases rise by 229 as Knox County reports 189 new cases & 3 new deaths
- As restaurants, bars re-open amid coronavirus, CDC study urges caution
- Ohio college students test positive for coronavirus, throw party