VIDEO: TCF Center Being Transformed For Use As Field Hospital (Day 2)

WWJ News
April 02, 2020 - 6:19 pm

(WWJ) The conversion of the TCF Center in downtown Detroit into a temporary field hospital is well underway,

The massive conference space, formerly known as Cobo Center, was recently designated by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a temporary alternate care facility.

The site will include approximately 1,000 beds to help relieve the burden to local hospitals treating patients with COVID-19.

Construction is being performed by the TCF Center workforce and union labor.

The TCF Center alternate care site "is tracking to be one of the fastest builds in the country given the quality of the experienced workforce and the world-class facility and technology upgrades made during its $279 million renovation," officials said.

This is all happening just a few days after it was announced that the 2020 North American International Auto Show, planned for June at TCF, has been canceled. 

"The State of Michigan is working around the clock and doing everything we can to slow the spread of the coronavirus," Whitmer said. "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."    

COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the state. As of Thursday, Michigan has 10,791 confirmed cases of the virus, with a total of 417 related deaths statewide. The official count, reported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Thursday, includes 1,457 new cases and 80 additional deaths. 

Other field hospitals could be yet constructed throughout the state. Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said he and other officials are exploring sites. 

The corps will continue 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.