DETROIT – On Sunday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a statement accepting the recommendation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, for an alternate care facility conversion at the TCF Center in Detroit.
The decision comes as Michigan continues its effort to address imminent capacity issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. FEMA will fund construction and supply the site which will have approximately 900 bed spaces and stations for medical personnel.
“The State of Michigan is working around the clock and doing everything we can to slow the spread of the coronavirus,” said Whitmer. “We are proud to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and the TCF Center to expand capacity in Detroit. By mobilizing quickly to construct a large alternate care facility in Detroit, we can help save lives.”
USACE is well underway in its coordination and planning efforts to adapt more than 250,000 square feet of the convention facility into medical care space.
Federal officials are focusing on Wayne County as an emerging coronavirus (COVID-19) hot spot as the city of Detroit alone surpassed 1,000 confirmed cases this week.
Southeast Michigan is comprised of Wayne, Macomb and Oakland counties. The three Detroit-area counties account for an overwhelming majority of the more than 5,500 confirmed cases in Michigan. As of Sunday at least 132 Michigan residents had died of the disease.
UPDATE March 29, 2020, 6 p.m. -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases total 5,524; Death toll rises to 132
USACE, Detroit District, at direction of the State of Michigan, continues to conduct initial and in-depth site assessments around the state of Michigan to address possible medical facility shortages as the response to COVID-19 continues.
UPDATE March 29, 3 p.m. -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases total 5,486; Death toll rises to 132
“We are proud to work hand in hand with our partners at FEMA and the state of Michigan and leverage our engineering expertise to help save lives,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Turner, district engineer, USACE, Detroit District.
The conversion will include two separate floors, which will be segregated based on severity of illness.
Overall, USACE has received seven FEMA Mission Assignments totaling approximately $880 million, and USACE has more than 15,000 personnel engaged, with more than 950 personnel deployed across the nation.
Site visits across Michigan to assess and determine the necessary steps to convert existing buildings into alternate care facilities will continue as the state directs. USACE, Detroit District has performed 15 site visits to date across the state.
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Anyone who believes they might have coronavirus should follow the CDC guidelines. Michigan.gov has a list of resources available to those concerned about COVID-19.
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