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Norfolk Army Corps of Engineers evaluating existing facilities to possibly turn into alternate-care sites in Virginia

The Norfolk District teams have been tasked by FEMA and the Commonwealth to address the possible medical facility shortages in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NORFOLK, Va. — The Army Corps of Engineers' Norfolk District teams are looking into existing facilities in Virginia that can be turned into possible alternate-care sites.

The teams have been tasked by FEMA and the Commonwealth to address the possible medical facility shortages in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Corps spokesman Patrick Bloodgood said in an email.

The Norfolk District teams are evaluating facilities within its military construction boundary area.

That encompasses most of Virginia outside of a few counties surrounding Washington D.C., Bloodgood said in the email.

The teams are working closely with FEMA, state and local partners to make a quick response easier should the need arise to have additional alternate-care sites constructed.

"Our team of dedicated employees are working diligently to meet the call of our nation and help tackle the problem that this virus has created for our national healthcare network," said Lt. Col. Alexander Samms, Norfolk District deputy commander.

Last week, the Norfolk-based USNS Comfort said it would deploy to New York in response to the state's shortage of hospital beds.

The hospital ship has approximately 1,000 beds on it.

In Virginia, there are 290 cases. More than 80 of those are in the Hampton Roads area, including cases on the Peninsula, the Southside, the Middle Peninsula, and the Eastern Shore.

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