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Hampton Roads Convention Center one of three sites in state to be used for alternative care

Posted at 2:31 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 23:34:34-04

HAMPTON, Va. - The Hampton Roads Convention Center will serve as an alternative care facility as cases of coronavirus spike in Virginia.

This is one of three sites in the state. Gov. Northam said on Friday that the Dulles Expo Center and the Richmond Convention Center will also be used.

Northam said construction on these sites is estimated to take about six weeks, adding that teams are working fast.

"The next steps are to complete contracts, move into design and then to construction," Northam said in his Friday press conference. "Teams are moving fast and we expect these alternative care sites to be ready in about six weeks."

Cases of COVID-19 are expected to surge in May, and these sites will help with healthcare needs.

Northam said the Hampton Roads Convention Center can host about 360 acute or 580 non-acute beds. It is also the same landmark Red Jones, a Hampton resident, passes by on his frequent strolls around the area.

"It's just great to do a couple of laps, you know. I normally walk around here," Jones said.

He said he is thankful the governor is taking steps to combat the pandemic, but he also said he felt uneasy at the fact.

"I feel a little bit uneasy because it's getting really serious," Jones explained. "We have to have a make-shift hospital made in Virginia, right here where we're all, sitting right here next to the businesses on Mercury (Avenue)."

The goal of these alternation sites is to free up capacity in existing hospital systems.

On Friday, the Virginia Department of Health confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases rose to 2,012 since Thursday.

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