Coronavirus: Gov. Lee cites Knoxville Expo Center as possible auxiliary hospital site


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.

Coronavirus in Tennessee: Gov. Lee issues order requiring Tennesseans to stay home

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:

  1. Choose a site (already underway).
  2. US Army Corps of Engineers will build out the site to medical-acceptable standards, will require understanding of equipment, negative air pressure, etc.
  3. Supply the site with the equipment and materials necessary.
  4. 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.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Coronavirus COVID-19 videos

Biden slams Trump for 'knowingly' lying on COVID

McEnany: Trump 'never lied' to the public on COVID

Trump bemoans virus restrictions in North Carolina

University of Tennessee relocating Massey Hall residents to make room for COVID-19 self-isolation cases

Coronavirus in Tennessee: Knox County reports 100 new cases, 157 new inactive cases

Knox County Health Dept. says plan in place for vaccine distribution

UT Chancellor: Some dodging COVID-19 precautions

Two Tennessee women participating in a COVID-19 vaccine study

Tennessee teachers asking for more safety measures

State launching COVID-19 schools dashboard

Knox County Health Dept.: Numbers reflect new timeframe for inactive cases

Clinton High School cancels next 2 weeks of games due to virus

UT chancellor: Fraternities trying to avoid COVID-19 precautions

Trending Stories

WATE 6 Storm Weather School

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter