Local sites set to become military-style hospitals to assist with COVID-19 overflow

PHILADELPHIA -- In the Philadelphia area, the National Guard is helping to construct two military-style hospitals, including one at the Liacouras Center on Temple University's campus, to help with the coronavirus-pandemic.

Spokesman Ray Betzner said the academic institution did not hesitate when called on to help.

"It was only about 48 hours ago we got the call from the city and federal officials...if there would be a possibility to use the Liacouras center," Betzner said.

The Liacouras Center can seat 10,000 fans during an athletic event, but it is not yet clear how many beds it will have.

"It's still a work in progress. My understanding is they're talking about 250 beds," said Betzner.

In Delaware County, the shuttered Glen Mills School offered its gymnasium.

On Saturday morning, the National Guard worked to unload at least three tractor-trailers full of equipment.

Up to 700 volunteers are needed to support the site. Anyone who is intersted in volunteering can register on the Delaware County Citizen Corps website.

At both southeastern Pennsylvania sites, non-Covid-19 patients will be housed at the sites, in anticipation of overflow from area hospitals.

"If any hospital in the region were to see a surge they're going to focus on critical care and well take the overflow from pediatrics, to adults, to seniors, to bariatric patients. We're prepared to take anyone who would normally be in the hospital that did not need critical care," said Tim Boyce, the director of the office of emergency management for Delaware County said.