Minnesota Scrambling To Add More Hospital Beds For Anticipated COVID-19 Surge
Officials were scrambling Tuesday to set up 2,750 more hospital beds across Minnesota to handle the anticipated surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming weeks. It’s part of Governor Tim Walz’s promise to Minnesotans not to waste the time he’s trying to buy with his stay-at-home order to allow the state’s health care system to gear up as the number of cases in Minnesota builds towards a peak in hospitalizations.
The number of occupied intensive care beds is a critical marker. The state currently has just over 260 adult ICU beds available, and Walz has stressed that the goal of his stay-at-home order was to prevent the disease from overwhelming the ability of hospitals to treat the sickest patients.
A team has been identifying potential alternate care sites statewide that could be quickly converted into temporary hospitals for non-critical patients. The immediate goal is to identify space for 2,750 beds, including 1,000 in the Twin Cities area and 1,750 in greater Minnesota, on top of the additional capacity that hospitals are already developing.
Minnesota hospitals already had more than 2,400 beds available as of Tuesday, so the new beds would boost capacity for new patients to more than 5,000.