Gov. Lee, Mayor Cooper tour COVID-19 alternate care site in Nashville

Posted at 1:06 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 21:50:33-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Gov. Bill Lee and Mayor John Cooper joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to review an alternate COVID-19 care site in Nashville.

In May, the state announced it planned to use Metro Nashville General Hospital to treat COVID-19 cases if the number of patients surpasses hospital capacity.

Gov. Lee called the space a “hospital within a hospital,” saying it’s the only alternate care facility of its kind that offers low acuity care but can also provide greater care if the patient’s condition worsens.

“Should [patients] fall into a need for greater care, they can go right downstairs,” said Lee.

Lee said one of their strategies was to have a long-term solution for the challenges of the pandemic that could extend until there is a vaccine.

The space occupies two hospital floors -- totaling 26,292 square-feet -- and provides an additional 67 beds to treat COVID-19 patients if the region begins to exceed their existing hospital capacity.

"This unique hospital within a hospital model will enable us to quickly activate and deactivate an alternative care site quickly if needed and provide a more efficient approach to meet any potential capacity requirements," Mayor Cooper said.

Memphis also has an alternate care site for coronavirus patients. Lee said they’re continuing to look at more sites should the state need them in the future.