DETROIT, Mich. (WLNS) — A convention center in Detroit will be turned into a 900-bed medical site in response to the coronavirus, the federal government said Sunday. Construction at TCF Center, formerly known as Cobo Center, will begin after contracts are wrapped up in 24 to 36 hours, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. The June auto show has been canceled.
According to the Associated Press, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has swiftly agreed to use TCF Center. Michigan, especially Detroit and surrounding communities, has been one of the hardest-hit states. It had 4,650 cases of the coronavirus by Saturday and 111 deaths.
“By mobilizing quickly to construct a large alternate care facility in Detroit, we can help save lives,” Whitmer said.
Henry Ford Health System said it had 507 patients at five hospitals as of Sunday morning, including 244 at its flagship hospital in Detroit. Beaumont Health is treating hundreds of people.
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.