The COVID-19 pandemic has brought sports to a stop and left hospitals across the country scrambling due to a lack of space. As a result, one of the most popular NFL stadiums has now transformed into a field hospital.
Following the U.S. Army’s announcement in March that CenturyLink Field would be turned into a field hospital, medical personnel, trucks and supplies have been transported into the Seattle Seahawks’ home this past week.
A scene that was unimaginable two months ago, this morning, the Army moving into CenturyLink Field Event Center to build a hospital. pic.twitter.com/2XK8qxwYoY— Mike Blakey (@MikeBlakey13) March 30, 2020
Coincidentally, the field hospital is being brought in at the same stadium where a vendor tested positive for COVID-19 The vendor, who last worked at the stadium during the XFL’s Seattle Dragons game on Feb. 22, was diagnosed with the coronavirus in early March. The stadium was thoroughly cleaned after the positive test and no games have been played since.
We just got a look inside the Army field hospital being built inside CenturyLink Field Event Center. It's remarkable to see how much soldiers have done in a short time. Coverage tonight on KIRO 7 News at 5 and 6. pic.twitter.com/J1CgeJQbbK— Graham Johnson (@GrahamKIRO7) March 31, 2020
CenturyLink Field, which is a multi-purpose facility in downtown Seattle, is a 200,000-sq. foot facility that holds a capacity of 72,000. The field hospital will provide 250 beds for non-coronavirus cases and it just opened on Monday.
The 47th Combat Support Hospital and 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion are at CenturyLink Field in Seattle today, setting up medical care to support federal agencies in their national response to counter #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/3u6Jxj0oAw— I Corps (@I_Corps) March 31, 2020
The U.S. Army deployed 300 soldiers from Colorado’s 627th Army Hospital in Fort Carson to work at the field hospital and they spent the past week preparing it with supplies, equipment and beds to help care for as many patients as possible.
Army vehicles bringing in equipment to set up a field hospital at CenturyLink Field Event Center. It will take non-COVID patients as a backup for Seattle hospitals. Latest on KIRO 7 News at 5. pic.twitter.com/ZCEXWcHtsm— Graham Johnson (@GrahamKIRO7) March 30, 2020
The field hospital has x-ray capabilities, a patient administration division, a lab area, microbiology, blood banking, an emergency room area, an isolation unit, operating room suites and sterilization. It can also provide minimal, intermediate and intensive care, offering relief to area hospitals that are overcrowded with patients.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 345,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States. Washington has nearly passed 8,000 cases with at least 338 deaths from COVID-19, per The Washington State Department of Health.