JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri officials are planning to use a north St. Louis County hotel as an overflow hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brigadier General Levon Cumpton, of the Missouri National Guard, said Wednesday crews were starting work on the Florissant site, which will provide more than 100 additional beds, he said.
Florissant Mayor Timothy Lowery said the hospital will be located at Quality Inn at 55 Dunn Road. The Missouri National Guard posted pictures from the site on its Facebook page.
“The construction of this facility should start this weekend and have the potential to start accepting patients as early as next week,” Cumpton said. “Other facilities will be converted in St. Louis and in other communities across the state if the situation warrants.
“It is our hope that these facilities will not be needed,” he said.
A news release sent out after the announcement said the site could be used “as early as next week if necessary.”
According to the news release, the hotel could be used to house COVID-19 patients “with mild or no symptoms” as well as people exposed to the virus “and identified and referred by health care professionals as requiring treatment but not hospitalization.”
Todd Richardson, director of the state’s Medicaid program, said the state would focus on opening “alternative care” sites in smaller venues rather than arenas. Last week, the state said it was eyeing using the Dome at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis as a temporary hospital.
“This model will focus on the use of hotels, rather than large arena sites, for care delivery,” Richardson said. “It will allow the state to move more quickly, it is a model that can be scaled as need arises and it is a model that can be used to support care delivery across our state.”
Gov. Mike Parson said the state was monitoring bed spaces and equipment and said “right now, Missouri is in a good place. However, I want to assure you that we do have a plan in place.”
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