HOUSTON – Officials with the city of Houston, Harris County and federal partners have begun building a medical shelter at NRG Park during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is to be used as a last resort… That would mean that our hospitals used up their surge capacity and now will have to use the capacity we are building at NRG,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said.
Officials said the project could cost $60 million and the federal government will reimburse the county up to 75%.
“And that $60 million anticipates two full months of operation at full capacity for a 250-bed hospital, essentially a worst-case scenario at 250 beds for two months,” Harris County Commissioner R. Jack Cagle said.
Officials said Monday that the facility will provide health and medical-related care to coronavirus patients if local hospitals exceed their capacities. Construction crews were seen within the parking lot of NRG Park Tuesday morning.
“We can’t build it indoors because we are still cleaning up from the rodeo,” Hidalgo said.
“While there are no plans to open the shelter at this time, the county is determined to provide additional support to the medical community during this pandemic,” Harris County officials wrote in a press release.
A KPRC 2 source said officials hope to have it ready to use by the end of the week.
Details about the medical shelter will be announced at a later date.
In a press conference on Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott alluded to the possibility of the shelter at NRG Park while talking about the emergency care facilities popping up around the country, as hospitals are overflowing.
“We have one up in the Dallas/Fort Worth area called FMS, Federal Medical Station, 250 beds in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center," Abbott said. “There’s actually similarly about that same number of beds set up in the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, and then Houston will be setting one up in NRG.”