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As coronavirus spreads, Maryland officials begin turning Baltimore Convention Center into makeshift hospital

Flanked by Humvees and doctors, state officials and the Maryland National Guard unveiled more details Tuesday about their plans to build a makeshift field hospital at the Baltimore Convention Center. Baltimore News
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young toured the 1-million-square-foot facility to inspect the plans as officials rush to add 6,000 more beds statewide ahead of an anticipated surge of patients suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Look at New York. Look at Italy. Look at Washington State and California," Hogan, a Republican, said. “We don’t want to be like that. ... But we’re not that far behind some of those places. We just had our fourth death today. This is a serious thing." Baltimore Political News
Maryland now has about 350 confirmed cases of the rapidly spreading virus, and health experts believe there are far more people infected.
The federal government has pledged to deliver 250 beds for the downtown Baltimore facility, which will be jointly run by the University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Hospital with help from medics from the National Guard. Hogan said the field hospital could be expanded to hold as many as 750 patients as the virus spreads.
About 100,000-square-feet of the convention center would be used for the hospital. That could be expanded to 300,000 square feet, officials said. Baltimore Medical News
“There are places around the country where they’re looking at tents for field hospitals,” the governor said. “This is certainly a much better scenario.”
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan listens as Baltimore Mayor Baltimore Jack Young thanks him for the state's help to fight the coronavirus pandemic. They are in the Baltimore Convention Center where the National Guard is setting up a field hospital. March 24, 2020.

Young said he was calling on the federal government to provide more help to cities.
“We’re all in this together,” the mayor said. “I think we need to call on the president to bail out cities. It’s going to be a financial disaster for all of us.”
In stepped-up efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Hogan announced Monday the state was ordering all nonessential companies to close while dedicating millions of dollars to help save small businesses. Baltimore Distribution Service

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