Michigan’s first COVID-19 alternate care facility to begin accepting patients


In this April 1, 2020, photo the interior of the TCF Center with temporary hospital rooms is seen inside the convention center in Detroit. In the decade before Michigan and its largest city became the latest hotspot for the deadly coronavirus, officials were steadily cutting back on their first line of defense against pandemics and other health emergencies. Approaching bankruptcy, Detroit disbanded most of its public health department and handed its responsibilities to a private nonprofit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Lansing, Mich (WLNS) – The TCF Regional Care Center – Michigan’s first alternate care facility – opens today in Detroit to provide critical care to COVID-19 patients.

The alternate care facility will accept up to 25 patients today, April 10, with staffing resources coming on board in the coming days to be able to care for 250 patients by the end of next week.

The care center is being lead by The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, who converted 350,000 square feet of the TCF convention center into a medical facility in nine days.

“The TCF Regional Care Center will save lives and ensure those suffering some of the worst cases of COVID-19 get the critical care they need as cases in the state continue to grow,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The TCF Regional Care Center, which includes a triage area, patient support services, staff changing areas, a pharmacy, administrative space and a command center will accommodate 970 bed spaces across two floors for COVID-19 patients. Members of the Michigan National Guard have been assisting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) with logistics support to establish the alternative care facility at TCF.

partnership of health care providers – including Henry Ford Health System, McLaren Health Care, Beaumont Health and the Detroit Medical Center – is providing critical support, staffing and resources at the TCF Regional Care Center.

The facility will receive patients from other southeast Michigan acute-care hospitals at least 48 hours after having been admitted as an inpatient at one of those acute-care facilities. The TCF Regional Care Center will not accept patients by ambulance or walk-up, and it will not have an intensive care unit area or provide care to patients who need ventilation.

“Southeast Michigan hospitals have been overwhelmed with the large number of COVID-19 patients,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “Expanding bed capacity will support our hospitals in managing the large influx of patients and making sure people are getting the best care possible.”

Initial staffing of the alternate care facility will be provided by a FEMA public health team, with additional waves of contracted teams getting on site over the next week. There is a need for both paid medical professionals and volunteers at TCF Regional Care Center as the facility continues to prepare for additional patients.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is calling on health care professionals to apply for paid positions at TCF Regional Care Center, another alternate care facility that will open at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, and other locations that may begin operating as alternate care facilities. Positions are available for physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, and a variety of other medical, administrative assistant and security positions. Applicants for paid positions can fill out an online form to be contacted with details about specific needs, pay rates and shifts.

Medical professionals – including retired physicians and nurses – who are interested in volunteering at an alternate medical care facilities can register at www.michigan.gov/covid19volunteer.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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