Dallas Convention Center Selected As Texas' First Pop-Up Coronavirus Hospital

Alan Scaia
March 30, 2020 - 5:53 am
Dallas Convention Center/Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center

Steven Pickering

DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - The Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas will serve as the state's first "pop-up" hospital for patients recovering from the coronavirus, COVID-19. 

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says the hospital will not house patients who need acute care or ventilators.

"If it comes staffed, we will probably use it as a transition hospital," says Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

Dallas City Councilman Adam Bazaldua posted on Facebook, writing that the Navy had confirmed it would send a 225-person medical team of doctors and nurses. He says the team would be available to "support and operate the hospital."

Bazaldua says a strike team from the Texas military will arrive at the convention center Tuesday, and the Navy and medical community will start meetings on how to operate the hospital.

"This is a fast moving mission and project and there are still many details to be agreed upon and worked out," Bazaldua wrote.

Sunday afternoon, Jenkins said he could not confirm the hospital would be staffed and when the convention center might be ready to accept patients.

"How fast it comes online depends on where the doctors come from," he says. "If the feds and the state can send some doctors, even if they send a chief nursing officer, chief medical officer and a few others, it'll be online faster than if we have to do it ourselves."

Phil Huang, the director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, says the county has confirmed 488 cases of COVID-19. A tenth person has died. Huang says she was in her 80s and lived in a nursing home.