US Army seeks contractors input on Covid-19 facilities
Notices from across the US have been posted today on the federal government’s tender website following the Pentagon’s plans to quickly convert unused buildings into makeshift hospitals in multiple states, starting in New York, as hospitals brace for medical shortages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Local leaders will pinpoint available buildings, like hotels, dormitories, and convention centers, in a prioritized order. Once identified, the existing buildings will be leased by the state and handed over to USACE. The corps will take over and hire contractors “in an exceptionally short amount of days,” Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, commanding general of USACE explained at a Pentagon press briefing March 20. This solution, he said, begins with state governors.
Construction is set to kick off as the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan will be refitted into a 1,000-bed hospital and an additional 1,800 field medical stations.
The facilities will need negative pressure abilities to keep the virus sealed off from room-to-room, and be outfitted with the appropriate medical supplies based off a list provided by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Finally, each facility will be staffed with medical professionals hired by the state.
USACE has produced a “standard design” to retrofit medical facilities which has been approved by FEMA.
Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, the Army is trying to understand the capabilities of every state, while focusing on hotspots like New York, California, and New Jersey.
The notices have been issued by the districts of the USACE with responses required in 15 days including;