Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser unveiled an alternative care site that will be used to provide hospitals with additional capacity during the coronavirus pandemic.
The temporary hospital was set up at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and holds 437 beds. The facility is ready to accept 100 patients this week and is on track to be operational tomorrow, the mayor said.
Peter Gaynor, administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said FEMA has committed to $56 million for the US Army Corps of Engineers' medical surge support facilities in DC, which includes convention center.
However, Bowser emphasized that the site is only meant to serve as an "insurance policy" to provide additional capacity if hospitals become overwhelmed. DC hospitals are currently at 71% capacity.
By the numbers: As of today, there were at least 6,389 positive coronavirus cases and 328 deaths in Washington, DC.
Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, director for the DC Department of Health, said that the District is still expected to reach its peak in late May.