DENVER (AP) — Emergency management officials have decided to decommission a temporary medical facility set up at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, saying the state's hospital capacity is expected to meet demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Two other emergency sites — in Pueblo and in Westminster — will remain open, and the Colorado Convention Center is expected to be returned to Denver’s care by late March. The Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management announced the decision via Twitter on Tuesday.
The state started transitioning the convention center to a temporary medical facility in April, with a capacity of up to 2,000 beds, The Denver Post reported. The facility never hosted a single patient, but it “served as an essential insurance policy for Colorado,” said Micki Trost, a spokeswoman for Colorado’s emergency management division.
The facilities are meant for patients who don’t require intensive care.
It wasn’t immediately clear how much the state spent to transform the convention center into an emergency medical site — and to maintain it for months. Another one in Loveland was previously shut down and dismantled. The remaining emergency sites, St. Anthony’s in Westminster and St. Mary Corwin in Pueblo, have a maximum capacity of 78 and 120 beds, respectively.
Fewer people in the state are now dying each day on average, and the percentage of tests returning with positive results is also decreasing, according to state health officials.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.