Mcallen Convention Center to serve as an overflow hospital for COVID patients

Local News

MCALLEN, Texas — The Mcallen Convention Center will be turning into a hospital next week alleviating some of the overflows in our hospitals.

Since June, The Starr County Memorial Hospital has transferred more than 150 patients due to the lack of space.

“Starr County had to transfer patients as far away as Dallas and sometimes out of the state to Oklahoma and New Mexico,” said Health Authority Dr. Jose Vasquez.

Governor Greg Abbott announced the Mcallen Convention Center will now be used to relieve hospitals like Starr County’s. Dr. Jose Vasquez said this alternative will improve life saving outcomes.

“All of these COVID patients as time and time goes by require more services that we cannot provide in Starr County.”

Right now, Texas Emergency Management Chief Nim Kidd is working with local officials and hospitals to assess and meet the demand.

” That would be determined by the medical needs of the patient. For instance, if we have people on the road to recovery and just need support we can go up to 250 beds but if we get patients that are sick it’s going to be a much lower number,” said Kidd.

He added the Convention Center is big enough to house both critically ill patients and those recovering.

” It can be subdivided into multiple units or sections,” said Kidd.

Officials said the facility is focused on relieving valley hospitals but will also be accepting patients from other parts of the state when available.

The center is expected to be fully operating early next week.

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