The Las Vegas Convention Center is among the sites scouted as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began assessments earlier this month in Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City for potential hospital space in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team, part of the corps’ Task Force Nevada, is made up of experts from several corps offices and is working closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state of Nevada.
“Alongside FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers is performing a valuable service at this unique time,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said. “Their efforts will help us make decisions about how best to manage our medical resources in the coming months to beat COVID-19.”
The corps noted that a potential field hospital at the Las Vegas Convention Center could hold up to 900 beds. They also conducted four smaller site assessments in Reno and Carson City.
“The goal of these assessments is to provide FEMA with options to present to the state of Nevada,” said Col. Aaron Barta, commander of Task Force Nevada. “We’re supporting the state’s efforts to determine how much extra capacity is needed and how best to meet that need.”
The assessors gathered a wide range of data, from electrical and structural stability, to space available for expanded medical care.
Under the direction of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, several agencies, including the Corps, FEMA, the federal Department of Health and Human Services and other federal partners are working with state, local, tribal and territorial governments to execute a response to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the public.
The Corps is the federal government’s lead public works and engineering support agency. The organization provides technical assistance to federal agencies, state and local governments, tribal nations, private U.S. firms, international organizations and foreign governments through its international and interagency support mission.