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UK HealthCare to Construct Field Hospital at Nutter Field House

Photo: University of Kentucky
Photo: University of Kentucky
Photo: University of Kentucky
Photo: University of Kentucky
Photo: University of Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. — UK HealthCare is moving ahead with plans for a 400-bed field hospital on the University of Kentucky campus to care for a potential surge in patients who contract the coronavirus (COVID-19), officials said Friday.

“As the Commonwealth’s health care provider for advanced and critical care, it is essential that we are prepared for any scenario to ensure we are meeting the needs of our community and the Commonwealth,” said Dr. Mark F. Newman, UK’s executive vice president for health affairs. “We need to do whatever is necessary to ensure that highest quality of care is provided to meet the challenges associated with this unprecedented public health crisis.”

Specifically, Newman announced today that UK HealthCare is preparing to stand up a 400-bed field hospital that will be ready in the next two weeks at the Nutter Field House, the UK Football team’s practice facility on the south side of campus near Kroger Field.

Details of that hospital include:

  • Rooms will be partitioned.
  • Standard Sub Flooring System, Nurses Stations, Heavy Duty Cots, Dedicated Break Rooms.
  • Nebulizing Station or Area.
  • Shower Units with Daily Sanitization, Universal Body Soap and Sanitization of Shower Units.
  • Daily Towel Service, Restroom Units with Daily Sanitization, Portable Handwashing Stations.
  • Daily Laundry Service.
  • Temporary generated power to ensure potable water for food services, shower and restroom.

UK and UK HealthCare officials have been working for weeks to map scenarios to handle patient care needs across the region. That work has continued in partnership with Lexington regional hospitals, the State Health Commissioner and Gov. Andy Beshear to address how and where patients would be cared for as the number of COVID-19 patients surges in the coming weeks.

Models of the trajectory of the virus vary regarding scope and depth of surge, Newman said. In addition, how efforts to “flatten the curve” through social distancing and other measures work will impact the need for a field hospital and other responses.

“We have been working internally for weeks on scenario mapping to be prepared to handle the critical care needs of our community and region — no matter the scenario. That’s our responsibility,” Newman said.  “As the state’s leader in providing advanced, specialty care, that kind of methodical, strategic thought process has guided us as we’ve implemented in-house testing capacity, our drive-thru testing clinic and other measures.

“This kind of planning and preparation speaks to our mission as the state’s largest health care provider and our responsibility to meet the critical-care needs of Kentucky,” Newman said. “This is who we are. This is what we do.”

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