2 field hospitals for COVID-19 overflow open in Rhode Island

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The Lifespan Alternative Hospital, which will soon be in operation, is set up at the Rhode Island Convention Center during the continuing coronavirus pandemic, in Providence, R.I. on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. (Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via AP)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island has opened two field hospitals that combined have more than 900 beds to deal with an expected flood of COVID-19 patients that has already swamped the state’s hospitals.

Care New England opened a field hospital with more than 300 beds in Cranston on Monday, the same day the state sent an emergency alert saying conventional hospitals had reached their coronavirus capacity.

A facility with nearly 600 beds opened Tuesday at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. It is run by Lifespan, the state’s largest hospital group.

There were 365 patients in the state’s hospitals with the disease as of Saturday, the most recent date for which the information was available, according to the state Department of Health, down from a single-day high of 381 on Nov. 23.

The Lifespan facility expects to admit 24 to 48 patients on Tuesday, but may need more staff, Chief Nursing Executive Cathy Duquette said.

“We are prepared to take up to 100 patients with the staff we have been able to get. If we see demand increasing, we will certainly reach out to get more from our agency partners,” she said.

Both field hospitals will take patients who are not critically ill.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island