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Lamont Considers Arenas, Universities As COVID-19 Overflow Hospitals

Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont
Jessica Hill
Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont

Connecticut officials are looking for locations that could serve as emergency overflow hospitals for COVID-19 patients.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont says the state is working with FEMA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to find spaces for hundreds of emergency beds. This could include major convention centers and facilities at Yale and Southern Connecticut State University.

“These are like little hospitals in a box. It’s expanding capacity for us in a broad way.”

Other locations could include the Connecticut Convention Center or the Mohegan Sun Convention Center.

Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena is already being converted to an overflow site for hospital patients with COVID-19. Mayor Joe Ganim says the sports arena will provide hospitals with an alternate care site if the state experiences a surge in coronavirus patients.

The 10,000-seat arena normally hosts hockey and basketball games. It’s the home arena of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers hockey team.

Mayor Joe Ganim says the arena will be equipped with 128 beds and various medical equipment, with the first equipment in place by Tuesday.

The state emergency operations center will oversee the site, with help from the National Guard.

Governor Lamont also says three hospital CEOs will serve on a health system response team that will help allocate resources. Officials say the arrangement will allow hospitals to work together more efficiently and keep any hospital system from being overwhelmed. 

Read the latest on WSHU’s coronavirus coverage here.


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