A field hospital set up just last weekend in Seattle’s CenturyLink stadium to help sustain the city’s projected massive influx of COVID-19 victims has been broken down and transferred without having ever treated a single patient.
Nearly 300 soldiers with the U.S. Army had quickly set up the hospital, which included 250 beds, a lab, X-ray machines, surgery facilities and an ICU, to help support local hospitals, who were expected to be inundated beyond capacity with residents suffering from the coronavirus. The facility was erected just a few days ago and was expected to open this week.
But it turns out the makeshift facility, set up at the home of the Seattle Seahawks to help treat patients with non-coronavirus ailments and take the weight off local hospitals, never wound up being needed. Local officials credit “social distancing” restrictions for flattening the city’s outbreak curve and keeping the lean-to hospital from being used.
“We requested this resource before our physical distancing strategies were fully implemented, and we had considerable concerns that our hospitals would be overloaded with COVID-19 cases,” Washington Gov. Jay Insee said in a statement.
Despite Washington state's coronavirus numbers not being nearly as dire as originally predicted, Inslee stressed the need to continue "social distancing" to mitigate the outbreak.
“We haven’t beat this virus yet, and until we do, it has the potential to spread rapidly if we don’t continue the measures we’ve put in place,” he added.
The facility and all its equipment is reportedly being transferred to another area of urgent need such as New York City, as local official in Seattle say the area’s hospitals should now be able to sustain the city’s COVID-19 patients on their own.
As of Thursday, more than 9,000 people in Washington state had tested positive for the virus, and roughly 450 have died. Nationwide, medical experts and federal officials had projected a potential death toll of 2.2 million due to the coronavirus. This week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, who helps head up President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, said the U.S. can expect 60,000 deaths if states and localities continue implementing harsh social distancing restrictions.