Houston’s NRG Stadium, which was just slated to hold the Houston Rodeo before it was cancelled, will go under transformation to become an ancillary medical site.
Earlier this week, construction crews began to create a medical shelter to help hospitals in the Greater Houston area who are currently trying to handle the surplus of patients due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. According to Community Impact, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo told reporters that hospitals within the area were operating at 70% capacity, citing reports from first responder data system The Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council.
The site will be set up in the NRG Stadium parking lots, rather than inside. This will help prevent respiratory illnesses from spreading as deconstruction of rodeo facilities is still underway. Hidalgo said that she hopes it doesn’t get to a point where the city will need it, however “in the meantime, we will have to find what we will need to use it.” Currently, the county is working to secure medical staff for the site who will not come from area hospitals.
Houston isn’t alone in its decision to create a medical site; dozens of makeshift hospitals are popping up around the country to help cities deal with the overflow of patients during this time. Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, which is usually home to the Seattle Seahawks, will also be converted into a temporary hospital for non-COVID-19 patients in the area. Around 300 soldiers from the 627th Army Field Hospital at Fort Carson, Colorado will help set up the hospital, located in downtown Seattle.