CHICAGO (CBS) — A convention center that originally was set to hold 500 COVID-19 patients is now able to help more than quadruple that number, according to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
After taking a tour with reporters to check out the set up at McCormick Place, Lightfoot announced that the space now has 2,250 beds for those with acute COVID-19 symptoms. It will be called the Alternate Care Facility.
“We’ve also received hundreds of negative pressure tents from Oregon,” Lightfoot said. “More than 400 medical staff have been hired and more than 300 have completed training.”
The mayor also praised the work of the people who put together the medical outpost.
“The people who have been working here have done so with great self sacrifice and without any fear but a commitment but to get the job done,” she said.
Lightfoot began her address with another warning for people that despite the holiday weekend, including Easter Sunday, that everyone should continue with their plans without participating in large gatherings.
“This is a tough time on all of us, myself included who look to this time to practice traditions with our loved ones. But it imperative that this year we worship in a new way,” Lightfoot said. “I implore all Chicagoans and faith leader to celebrate any way you can as long as its done separate and consistent with the social distancing and stay-at-home guidelines.”
The mayor also mentioned that a member of her “extended staff” has tested positive for COVID-19. The last time they were in the office was on April 1 and the person is recovering with mild symptoms.