The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown D.C. will house 1,500 hospital beds to help the city handle a possible surge in coronavirus cases.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said the beds would be set up starting Monday and the facility would serve patients who do not require intensive care.
“We will be prepared for the worst-case scenario. But our goal is to never use the Convention Center,” the mayor said.
Bowser said earlier this month that the site could possibly house hospital beds.
For weeks, D.C. officials have prepared for an uptick in virus cases. Authorities expect that as many as 93,000 residents — about 13% of the population — will be infected with the virus and 220 to more than 1,000 people will die. A peak in cases and hospitalizations is expected this summer.