Baltimore Convention Center Is Being Prepared as a Hospital

A Prince George's man in his 60s died from COVID-19, officials say

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The Baltimore Convention Center is being prepared to be a 250-bed field hospital in response to the coronavirus, and the governor's office said Tuesday that it could be expanded to care for more patients.

Gov. Larry Hogan visited the convention center as the National Guard works to convert the facility. The Hilton hotel, which is adjacent to the convention center and owned by the city of Baltimore, also will be part of the hospital.

Medical care and daily operations will be managed through a partnership with the University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Meanwhile, Maryland reported its fourth death from the coronavirus. The state's health department said the Prince George's County resident was in his 60s and suffered from underlying medical conditions.

The virus causes only minor flu-like symptoms in most people, who recover in a matter of weeks. But it is highly contagious and can cause severe illness or death in some, particularly the elderly and those with underlying health problems.

Maryland has had at least 349 cases of the coronavirus as of Tuesday. That's 61 more cases than on Monday and the biggest one-day jump in confirmed cases in the state so far.

The state is aiming to increase the number of available hospital beds by 6,000 in preparation for a surge of patients. The state already has made 900 more beds available, and the governor says another 1,400 beds will be available by early April.

On Monday, Hogan announced the reopening of Laurel Regional Hospital, which will have another 135 beds soon.

A pilot assessment location at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, is being developed in partnership with the Maryland National Guard, the Maryland Department of Health, Prince George’s County, and the University of Maryland Medical System, the governor's office said.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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