TCF Center becomes fully-functioning field hospital as first coronavirus (COVID-19) patients arrive

Center has about 970 beds

The first COVID-19 patients have arrived at the TCF Center in Detroit.

DETROIT – Patients began arriving at the TCF Center in Detroit on Friday, as the convention center started its new role as a field hospital during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

April 10 update -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 22,783; Death toll now at 1,281

Medical staff are expected to care for hundreds at the center. Patients who are recovering will be transported there to make room for other patients who need more care at hospitals.

The center will not have an intensive care unit or provide care to patients who need ventilation.

“The TCF Center will start off-loading a lot of that stress with 50 today and 50 tomorrow,” Mayor Mike Duggan said.

The center has about 970 beds. It also has patient support services, showers, toilets, staff changing areas, a command center and a pharmacy.

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The TCF Center in Downtown Detroit being transformed into an alternate care facility for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.