- Associated Press - Monday, April 27, 2020

BALTIMORE (AP) - A 250-bed field hospital is set to open in the Baltimore Convention Center this week to treat patients who are finishing their recoveries from the coronavirus, officials announced.

Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center are operating the site, which will begin accepting patients Monday from area hospitals who have tested positive for the coronavirus but do not require intensive care, Johns Hopkins Medicine said in a statement.

Patients will first be moved from Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland medical centers in the area, and patients from other nearby hospitals could be admitted later on, officials said. The center will not take direct referrals from primary care physicians or administer testing, according to the systems.

“This is for patients who still need acute care, but who have ‘turned a corner’ in their illness,” said Dr. James Ficke, the field hospital’s director.

About 1,000 medical professionals were hired for the site, and officials were looking to general internal medicine and family medicine physicians for staffing, according to Ficke.



Work on the 100,000 square-foot (9,290-square-meter) section of the center began about a month ago after Gov. Larry Hogan announced a goal of adding 6,000 hospital beds throughout the state to keep facilities from being overwhelmed as cases increased, news outlets reported.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency provided the beds and supplies, officials said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

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Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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