Convention hall in Harlingen now open as temporary COVID-19 care facility

Local News

Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—A spokesperson from the city of Harlingen confirmed that Casa de Amistad will be opening its doors on Wednesday to take in patients with COVID-19.

Casa de Amistad is a 13,000 square feet convention hall. According to the city, the building is home to many trade shows and convention activities, as well as weddings, quinceaneras and private receptions.

The facility will house up to 96 patients that no longer need acute care, but still aren’t ready to go home, according to the city.

The state will be providing the medical beds, equipment, oxygen, and staff to run the temporary alternative care site through a contract with SLSCO.

The city says SLSCO is a company out of Galveston that specializes in emergency sheltering and field hospitals during disasters.

Each of the 96 beds sits in its own space for privacy and all include an oxygen line, only if the patient requires it.

“The City’s objective is to support the Hospitals by easing some of the strain on their facilities and staff. The State of Texas has not only transformed Casa de Amistad into a field hospital but brought more doctors, nurses, and other support staff for this facility.” said Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell.

The health care facility will accept patients from Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, Brownsville, Harlingen Medical Center, and Valley Regional Medical Center.

SLSCO will provide up to 125 staff members for each of its three eight hour daily shifts that will include specialized doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists.

While the state is covering the cost for the operation of the temporary hospital, any costs incurred by the city will be eligible for CARES Act reimbursement, says the city.

Governor Greg Abbott announced the opening of a temporary COVID-19 facility in the city of Harlingen during a press conference.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott toured the McAllen Convention Center on Tuesday and he concluded the by saying that a similar facility will be opening in the city of Harlingen.

The city says that Casa de Amistad Alternative Care Site is strictly a facility for treating COVID-19 patients who are already hospitalized.

People needing emergency help must go to actual hospitals in the area.

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