The McAllen Convention Center is being converted into a health care facility to help meet the area’s growing need for hospital capacity. The convention center will have the capacity to treat a maximum of 250 patients. It is scheduled to be opened later this week and will be equipped with hospital beds, medical equipment and medical staffers.
“As we work to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is vital that we take the necessary action to ensure abundant hospital capacity in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Gov. Greg Abbott. “This temporary facility in McAllen will lessen the strain on the region’s hospitals until we can contain the virus and bring hospitalizations back down.”
In addition, the Department of Defense has deployed two 85-person U.S. Army Reserve Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces to the cities of Harlingen and Edinburg. These teams consist of medical and support professionals who will help meet medical needs at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen and DHR Health in Edinburg.
The state is working with local officials to set up and operate other alternate care sites across the Rio Grande Valley, including Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Webb counties. Multiple locations have already begun operations, and others will begin operating by the end of the week. Establishing these sites will ensure additional hospital capacity in the region as Texas responds to COVID-19.