As the number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases continues to increase in Ulster, the county has built a field hospital at an area high school, and another is planned if needed.
Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan announced on Tuesday, April 7, that the first field hospital that will hold at least 100 hospital beds will open at the Kate Walton Fieldhouse at the Kingston High School campus.
The field hospital, which will be staffed by Nuvance Health along with HealthAlliance, is slated to open as early as next week to serve patients transitioning into or out of area hospitals that may become overwhelmed by a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The hospital is part of the county's Project Resilience Community Care Center initiative, a key effort of the county to quadruple the current number of hospital beds in Ulster County, Ryan said.
Simultaneously, the county's Department of Public Works will begin building out a portion of the former Bank of America building at TechCity.
The location is expected to be available around the time local hospitals will be at capacity and will be used by residents still recovering and transitioning out of hospitals but unable to as yet return home.
“As I have said from day one, we will not rest until we have the facilities and the equipment needed to protect the health and safety of all of our residents,” Ryan said. “The Project Resilience Community Care Center will help save lives by providing much-needed bed capacity to handle the expected surge of COVID-19 patients."
Ryan also thanked Kingston City School District Superintendent Dr. Padalino along with all of the members of the school board for supporting this initiative.
When school comes back into session, the Project Resilience Community Center will shift exclusively to TechCity and the Kate Walton Fieldhousewill be put back into use for students’ athletic needs after complete cleaning and decontamination, he added.
There are currently 402 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 5 fatalities in Ulster County.
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