Thousands of temporary hospital beds needed in Colorado.

Colorado is preparing for a steep increase in COVID-19 cases over the next few weeks, and part of that preparation includes field hospitals being constructed.

Mayor Michael Hancock has said that the Colorado Convention Center will be converted into a field hospital that holds 2,000 beds later this month. While that's in transition, Hancock, in an open letter to hotels and motels in Denver, has requested 3,000 hotel rooms "to meet the anticipated need among people experiencing homelessness and the needs of our local hospitals in the weeks ahead."

At least 120 motel rooms have already been leased for homeless people who tested positive or are waiting for results.

"As many of you know, I have personally appealed to a number of the city’s top hotel industry leaders. I realize there are many hurdles– insurance, staffing, house rules, food service and more –that must be overcome. My staff has been instructed to work quickly and creatively to help overcome any and all barriers," said Hancock in the letter.

Events planned at the convention center before the stay-at-home orders are now canceled, including Denver Pop Culture Con, an annual comic book and pop culture convention that draws a crowd of nearly 100,000 people. Originally scheduled for July 3-5, it's been postponed, tentatively, until November 27-29. This, however, could change again down the road.

This is an unprecedented health situation for the state, as well as the country and world, and needs change quickly. The need for more beds is clear, and treatment and care facilities are being modified to become critical and acute care wards. Field hospitals, like those being planned for Colorado, are not used often, only in natural disasters, wars, and crisis situations. The nation has watched as the iconic spaces like New York's Central Park become temporary hospitals, as spaces are modified and supplies rationed to make room for the growing number of patients.

Colorado will need to prepare itself, as we will soon see this play out in our own cities and neighborhoods. This is a hard time for our state, however, there are people working around the clock, moving quickly to keep us on top of this crisis. 

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