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Jax Daily Record Monday, Mar. 23, 202005:30 PM EST

Jacksonville setting up field hospital for COVID-19 patients

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It can accommodate 250 critical intensive care unit patients and it can expand, if needed.
by: Mike Mendenhall Staff Writer

Jacksonville is one of several sites where state and local officials are setting up field hospitals to prepare for a possible influx of COVID-19 patients.

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Chief Keith Powers said March 23 that his department is staging the local field hospital at an unannounced location. 

It will be a regional facility that Powers said can accommodate 250 critical intensive care unit patients and it can expand, if needed.

Jacksonville-area hospitals are not at capacity, Powers said, and staging the field hospital is for preparedness. The facility will be activated only if Curry and area hospital administrators determine it’s needed.

Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz first announced the state’s plans to deploy field hospitals in a news conference in The Villages earlier March 23. 

Other locations include Broward County, Ocala and Orlando. 

DeSantis said Florida hospitals are not experiencing a bed shortage and the move is for preparation.

“Right now we don’t see a need to go to a field hospital, but we want them up and running,” Moskowitz said.

Steven Woodard, Jacksonville Emergency Preparedness Division chief, said the city also plans to supply local hospitals 3,600 N95 masks, 25,000 surgical masks and 400 packages of hand sanitizer in the coming days.



 

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