NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - Military members in Connecticut are getting ready for a potential surge in coronavirus patients who need medical attention.
Service members spent Tuesday and Wednesday transforming Southern Connecticut State University's Moore Field House into a field hospital.
“Our goal today is to have this field hospital ready by Friday afternoon, so today its inventory and supplies, working with civilians, public health as well as the universities contractors to put it all together, make it work," said Capt. Nathan Ferrance, of CT Army National Guard.
Gov. Ned Lamont toured the facility on Wednesday afternoon.
Once complete, COVID-19 patients from the Yale-New Haven Hospital region who do not require much medical attention will go to the college campus.
"It will sort of look like a scaled down version of what you’ve seen in New York and New Hampshire where they’ve turned convention centers into essential hospital floors," said Sgt. Steven Tucker, CT Air National Guard.
Officials described it as a "hospital in a box."
Items in three tractor trailers included 250 beds, dividers and other medical equipment.
"To that end we’re working to make our facilities available, our large spaces, gymnasiums, auditoriums, our dormitories, available to be sort of overflow spaces for medical personal, not only provide care, but also stay on campus should they need to," said Mark Ojakian, president, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities.
In addition to SCSU, members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers sought out other locations around the state.
Work begins on the @SCSU Field House, one of three locations around the state that we’re working on today (along with @WestConn and Middlesex Hospital). The goal is to increase the state’s available bed space to relieve pressure on the medical system. pic.twitter.com/dVHoPTULu9— CT National Guard (@CTNationalGuard) April 1, 2020
The CT National Guard said work began at Western Connecticut State University and Middlesex Hospital.
Another location being considered for overflow hospital sites included Central Connecticut State University in New Britain.
Those campuses would not only help as makeshift hospitals, but medical or military personnel could stay there if needed.