A 250-bed field hospital is coming to the Miami-Dade Youth Fair grounds as county officials attempt to prepare for an increase in hospitalizations due to the COVID-19 virus.
The Miami Herald reported on that new field hospital, citing a report from the Miami-Dade County Emergency Operations Center. However, the outlet noted “it’s not known if the facility is for coronavirus cases or patients with other needs diverted from emergency rooms.”
Construction on the field hospital began Monday night and continued through Tuesday.
Recently, 76 emergency room doctors from Miami-Dade county authored a letter warning of the seriousness of the virus’s outbreak — and its potential effects if it continues to spread.
“The low number of confirmed cases in published reports does not show the true number of people who have been infected by the virus in Miami, or anywhere else in the USA for that matter. It only reflects that we’re are far behind where we should be in testing,” the letter reads.
“All of us expect that if and when COVID-19 testing reaches the appropriate levels, the number of confirmed cases will explode.”
Hospitals in Italy have been overwhelmed by patients seeking care for the virus’s symptoms. That country is ahead of America’s trajectory, and is a potential sign of things to come if the outbreak is not contained here.
When the outbreak first began in China, that country rapidly constructed hospitals to help deal with the influx of patients.
The 250-bed field hospital at Tamiami Park in Miami-Dade County could help address some of the potential capacity issues should social distancing efforts fail to sufficiently stem the spread.
Though the death rate in the U.S. has hovered slightly above 1%, it’s been higher elsewhere. And if hospitals are overwhelmed with cases, that could inhibit doctors’ ability to treat patients and send that death rate upward.
Most who do show symptoms develop a fever or cough and may have trouble breathing, though they do recover. But older individuals and those with underlying health risks are susceptible to developing more severe symptoms.