The process for transforming Music City Center into a COVID-19 hospital


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — One of the biggest updates to come out of Governor Bill Lee’s Thursday afternoon briefing other than a mandatory stay-at-home order is the progress being made on transforming Music City Center into a COVID-positive non-acute medical facility.

When completed, the entertainment venue will be equipped to house and treat 1,600 patients at one time. The facility will be used to help relieve area hospitals of patients with non-critical care needs.

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 Music City Center possible and quickly.

According to the US Army Corps of Engineers, the building-out of Music City Center started a few weeks ago in the planning process. State officials and FEMA collaborated to come up with designs that could be “rapidly accessible and delivered in a short period of time.”

So how do you transform an entertainment venue into a hospital quickly? The US Army Corps of Engineers says it is a four-step process.

  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.

In addition to Music City Center, the US Army Corps of Engineers has plans to build out similar facilities at Gateway Shopping Center in Memphis, Chattanooga Convention Center, and Knoxville Expo Center.

Officials said all displaced or furloughed health care personnel are urged to register on the Tennessee Department of Health website here.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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