Inslee sending back DOD field hospital


SEATTLE, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee says a Department of Defense field hospital that had been set up at Century Link Field due to the coronavirus outbreak will be returned to the Federal Emergency Management Agency so it can be deployed to another state facing more of a crisis.

Late last month, 300 hundred soldiers from the 627th Army Hospital at Fort Carson, Colorado, had deployed to Seattle to staff the hospital, which was expected to create at least 250 hospital beds for non-COVID-19 cases.

“I’m proud that our diligence has saved lives across the state, and am even more proud that we can now help save lives across the country,” Inslee said.

Inslee did note that, while returning the field hospital is a good sign, it doesn’t mean Washington is in the clear.

“To be clear, this doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods. We can’t let up in our fight against COVID-19,” he said. “It does mean that we’re collaborating with other states to make sure we’re getting the resources we need, and passing on the ones we don’t.”

The Seattle area saw the country’s first coronavirus outbreak, but Inslee and others have said they now don’t expect the state’s hospitals to be overwhelmed. Earlier this week, Washington state returned 400 ventilators to other states hit hard by the virus.

Inslee said that while the state is able to return ventilators and the field hospital, Washington is still in desperate need for personal protective equipment.

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