CHICAGO (CBS)– A portion of McCormick Place is being transformed into a COVID-19 alternate care facility.
The first shipment of 500 beds have already arrived. The goal is to have another 500 beds by next week and then 3,000 beds by the end of April.
The Army Corps, and 30 soldiers and airmen with the Illinois National Guard, have already started working on the setup.
This facility is not meant to replace hospitals, instead, it will be used for patients who don’t require intensive care if hospitals need extra space.
The project is thanks to $15 million in federal funding from FEMA and McCormick is just one of three sites that will supply extra beds if and when they are needed.
The other locations are Metrosouth Hospital in Blue Island and Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is working with partners at medical centers that can spare staff members to work in the facilities. The agency is requesting volunteers with medical experience.