Washington State says it will disband an Army field hospital that was set up to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic after the facility has not hosted a single patient.
Last week, the Army installed a 250-bed field hospital in an event center adjacent to the Seattle baseball stadium. After the hospital sat empty and unused for three days, Governor Jay Inslee’s office announced Wednesday that it would be returned to the federal government, reports KUOW.
The Army facility was never intended to house COVID-19 patients. Rather, it was designed to care for other patients who were displaced from regular hospitals by those infected with the virus. However, after most elective procedures were canceled and people slowed the spread of coronavirus through social distancing, established hospitals were not overwhelmed rending the temporary one unnecessary, according to NPR.
“We requested this resource before our physical distancing strategies were fully implemented and we had considerable concerns that our hospitals would be overloaded with Covid-19 cases,” Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a press release.
This closure of the Army hospital may also indicate how inaccurate Washington state’s initial predictions were regarding the stress COVID-19 would place on its hospital system, reports NPR. The state may have already survived the worst of the coronavirus, according to one model.
Despite this, Inslee warns that the battle against the virus still rages on. (RELATED: Fauci Says Americans Could Carry COVID-19 Immunity Papers)
“Don’t let this decision give you the impression that we are out of the woods,” his press release reads. “We have to keep our guard up and continue to stay home unless conducting essential activities to keep everyone healthy.”