A 250-bed Army field hospital that was intended to act as a relief valve for Washington state’s health care system by caring for non-coronavirus patients will be returned to federal control without seeing a single patient.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the Army hospital, set up inside Seattle’s Century Link Field Event Center, will now be returned to the Federal Emergency Management Agency so it can be deployed to another state.
“We requested this resource before our physical distancing strategies were fully implemented, and we had considerable concerns that our hospitals would be overloaded with COVID-19 cases,” Gov. Inslee said in a statement, referring to the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
State officials purchased additional medical equipment, including more than 900 ventilators and 1,000 hospital beds, along with leasing a former medical center in Yakima in the event Washington experiences another surge in COVID-19 patients. Mr. Inslee said his state should have sufficient hospital capacity in that case.
“I’m incredibly appreciative of the men and women from the 627th Hospital Center out of Fort Carson in Colorado. These soldiers uprooted their lives to help Washingtonians when we needed them most,” Mr. Inslee said. “Since then, it’s become apparent that other states need them more than we do.”