FLORISSANT, Mo. — A Florissant hotel is being transformed into an "alternate care site" for St. Louis area hospitals if the coronavirus pandemic overwhelms current facilities.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson said after an extensive review by Missouri’s Alternate Care Site Working Group, the Florissant hotel was chosen and the conversion is already underway. It could be ready for use as early as next week if necessary. The name and exact location of the hotel have not been revealed.
The Missouri National Guard is working to make changes to the facility. When finished, the hotel could house more than 100 people. The site could be used to "house individuals who test positive for COVID-19 with mild or no symptoms as well as individuals exposed to COVID-19 and identified and referred by health care professionals as requiring treatment but not hospitalization."
The hotel could also be used for COVID-19 patients who no longer need critical care, but are not ready to be fully released back to their homes.
Three of the main criteria for picking the hotel were its location in relation to hospitals that may need additional space, its sufficient space for patients and the available utilities that allowed the conversion to start immediately.
The conversion is a joint effort by FEMA and the Army Corps of Engineers and is being carried out by the Missouri National Guard.
The conversion of the hotel into an alternate care site does not guarantee it will be used.
A FEMA spokesperson said other potential sites across the state are being considered for additional conversions.
St. Louis County has more than 33% of the total COVID-19 cases in the state.