(APRIL 8, 2020) MIAMI BEACH, FL – On Tuesday, April 7, 2020 City of Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, State of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz were joined by US Army Corps of Engineers’ Lt. General Todd Semonite to discuss the conversion of the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) into an alternative care facility (ACF).
Dozens of workers began staggered 12-hour shifts to construct the field hospital on Wednesday, as the Army Corps aims to deploy 450 operational care pods by April 21. The facility (designed to treat coronavirus positive patients) is developed as a precautionary measure should Miami Dade County hospitals experience overflow ahead of Florida’s anticipated peak case count in early May.
The 250,000-square-foot hospital includes 400 10x10 feet general care pods and 50 negative-pressure intensive care pods. Sized at 15x15 feet, the ICU pods can house two patients each. The facility will be staffed with doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and medical personnel as well as 184 Florida National Guard medical team members.
The ACF at the MBCC offers the capability to expand to up to 500,000 square feet, doubling patient capacity up to 900 beds. The MBCC joins 17 other venues converted by the Army Corps across the nation, contributing to more than 15,000 beds and medical facilities in support of hospital overflow.
The Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) lies at the heart of Miami Beach’s meetings and conventions industry. Re-imagined following a $620-million-dollar renovation, the expanded MBCC includes a new 60,000 square-foot Grand Ballroom, almost 500,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, an expanded Grand Lobby, pre-function areas that are bathed in natural light, up to 84 breakout rooms, almost 2,100 miles of cabling to support all IT communications, $7.1 million dollars’ worth of art curated by the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places program, a new six-acre public green space that can serve as incremental event space, and much, much more.