Former Kindred Hospital prepped to serve as an overflow healthcare facility for coronavirus patients

HOUSTON – As the number of coronavirus patients is expected to climb, Mayor Sylvester Turner is preparing facilities that can be operational if the healthcare system becomes overwhelmed.

Officials are considering the transformation of former hospitals, hotels, and other commercial buildings to serve as temporary healthcare facilities. Turner said the facilities could also be used to house the homeless and quarantined individuals during the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Kindred Hospital in northwest Houston is one of the facilities the city has earmarked for use, Turner said during a tour of the facility Sunday afternoon. The facility has 69 beds, of which 21 are ICU rooms. Kindred Hospital closed multiple locations in Texas earlier this year, KPRC 2 previously reported.

If the city reaches its full capacity of hospital beds, administrators will transport patients to the temporary hospital, Turner said.

"This facility was used as a hospital. It's ready to be used," he said.

Turner added there is another hospital the city is reviewing in west Houston.

"We are identifying facilities that are no longer hospitals," he said.

The Houston city council will vote Wednesday to lease two hotels for first responders, who need to be quarantined away from family members. The agreement will provide 180 beds for city-use.