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Governor Polis announces alternative health care site at Colorado Convention Center

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Derek Draplin | The Center Square

Colorado Governor Jared Polis on Friday unveiled efforts to turn the Colorado Convention Center into an alternative health care site that will be used in case there’s a surge in coronavirus hospitalizations.

Colorado Convention Center will be a “tier three” health care facility, meaning it will be “used to step down folks from critical care that aren’t ready to go home,” Polis said.

Polis said 300 people are working to transition the center to a temporary health care site, with hundreds of beds being ready for patients by April 18.

“These are to decompress and protect our hospitals,” the governor said, adding he doesn’t expect the facility to be at full capacity. 

Colorado has 6,508 coronavirus cases, with 1,300 hospitalizations and 241 deaths, according to the governor. 

The Ranch, Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events Complex will also serve as an alternative health care site, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment announced on Thursday. The Army Corps of Engineers is helping to set up both alternative health care sites.

Polis also announced that $1.9 million in emergency funds was approved by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs to help low-income Coloradans pay rent and mortgages.