A portion of the convention center in downtown D.C. will be converted into a coronavirus field hospital starting Monday.
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center will become a 1,500-bed alternate care facility where virus patients can be treated if necessary. The first 500 beds will be set up by the first week in May, the mayor’s office said. The remainder of beds will be set up by the end of the month.
“While our goal is to never use the Convention Center, we must have the capacity to support a potential increase in COVID-19 patients,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement. “We thank the Army Corps, FEMA, and Events DC for their continued partnership during this public health emergency.”
The convention center’s three halls, making up about 437,000 square feet, will be turned into a facility to treat patients who do not need to be in intensive care and do not require ventilators.
Here’s where we are Monday in the fight against coronavirus in the D.C. area.
As of Monday morning, 25,601 cases of coronavirus have been diagnosed in our region. D.C. had reported 2,927 cases, Maryland had 13,684 and Virginia had 8,990. At least 921 people have died. Go here for full details.
Coronavirus Cases in DC, Maryland and Virginia
COVID-19 cases by population in D.C. and by county in Maryland and Virginia
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
"There needs to be a serious investigation of what's happened at Sagepoint in the last month to month and a half," the son of a 70-year-old victim said.
The daughter of an 80-year-old victim of the virus said her father’s condition deteriorated fast.
"He couldn't even call us from his cellphone because nobody had checked in or assisted him with getting his phone charged or anything. He was scared," she said.
Conditions at a D.C. hotel being used as a virus quarantine site raised concerns Sunday. News4 saw dumpsters overflowing with used gloves, bed linens and food waste, and workers wearing protective gear going into a nearby restaurant. A crew cleared the trash less than an hour after News4 alerted the mayor’s office to the problem.
“Going forward in the future, we’re not going to have this issue,” said Chris Geldart, who is operations manager for the city’s response to the virus.
Distance learning resumes Monday for students of Fairfax County Public Schools. The district had major technical problems last week and needed to suspend remote classes.
And something a little cheerful: A family in Virginia has raised more than $12,000 for meals for medical staff at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.
"They just have so much work to do and they have been so kind to us and taken the extra time," the mother of a patient said.
D.C.’s mayor will give a coronavirus response update at 11 a.m. and speak about public safety. Virginia’s governor will speak at 2 p.m. You can watch live on NBCWashington.com or in the NBC Washington app.