WSC picked as a potential COVID-19 field hospital

Published: Apr. 16, 2020 at 4:29 PM CDT
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The Well at Williston State College has been picked as one of eight facilities in North Dakota that would function as a field hospital if COVID-19 cases surge.

Staffed by the National Guard and local healthcare workers, these temporary hospitals would add an additional 4,000 patient beds.

Williston State College President Dr. John Miller says they were notified a few weeks ago that the gym could be transformed into a secured facility that could possibly house 250 to 400 beds.

The state currently has 2,098 beds. With less than 20 COVID-19 patients needing hospitalization, the likelihood of implementing field hospitals is slim.

“The whole idea behind going to the different colleges was to have regional alternatives," said Miller. "When you look at the Northwest part of the state; things would have to be much worse, much faster. I just don’t see it happening. I do see it being very prudent that they do plan for it though.”

The state already set up cots at colleges like the University of Mary, but they are not in use. If hospitalizations exceed 3,500, that’s when field hospitals would go into effect.

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