The state is setting up a new temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients in Milledgeville, relocating 80 beds there from the little-used stand-up facility at the Georgia World Congress Center.
In a news release Wednesday, Gov. Brian Kemp said the new location “is more centrally located for many medical facilities throughout Georgia.
The new hospital will be set up inside the former Youth Challenge Academy, a program for wayward teens that the state Department of Defense shuttered this year over budget cuts.
By early July, two units of the former youth academy will be repainted, sanitized and equipped with hospital beds and privacy walls, a press release from the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency said. PAE Staffing, the company operating the downtown Atlanta hospital, will provide medical personnel.
As the World Congress Center site was designed to do, Milledgeville’s pop-up hospital will take in overflow patients with mild to moderate symptoms who don’t need ventilators or critical care. With cases spiking throughout the country and in pockets of rural Georgia, health experts are warning that hospitals could be overrun with patients all over again.
However, Lisa Rodriguez-Presley, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, said the change is being made because of geographic needs, so patients can be more easily transferred from all corners of the state, and because the 200-bed temporary hospital at the Georgia World Congress Center has seen minimal usage.
The Atlanta facility, which opened in April, is being dismantled. Its remaining 120 beds and other unused equipment will be placed in storage at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, where it can be pulled out and put to use quickly should the need arise somewhere else in the state, GEMA said.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.