MILWAUKEE — The COVID-19 Alternate Care Facility at State Fair Park is expected to open Wednesday. The facility was set up by the Army Corps of Engineers back in April to handle any surge of coronavirus patients, but hasn’t been needed until now.
The State Department of Health made the call to open the facility last week after a continued surge in cases.
The facility will take as many as 50 patients from hospitals around the state and could take 500 more in the weeks to come if needed.
“The current surge in cases will lead to hospitalizations which is why we will be prepared,” said Department of Health Services Secretary Designee Andrea Palm.
Milwaukee area hospital capacity is not the problem at the moment. Officials say the large hospitals in the area still have capacity. It’s the facilities in the northeast part of the state which are at or nearing capacity that are the issue.
“Today, we have 30 COVID patients in our hospital, and a month ago we would have had ten,” said President & CEO of Bellin Health Chris Woleske. Her system has added capacity up north by retrofitting old buildings on their campus to handle overflow.
The State Fair Park Alternate Care Facility is not a walk-in facility. Patients there will be transferred from other facilities across the state.