SEATTLE — Governor Jay Inslee announced Wednesday the field hospital established at the CenturyLink Field Event Center will be taken down and sent elsewhere.
The announcement comes just two days after the Department of Defense said the field hospital would be opening this week.
The hospital was meant to treat non-coronavirus patients in an effort to ease the burden on local hospitals, but at this point, it's unclear if the hospital treated any patients.
Gov. Inslee said the field hospital will be deployed to another state facing a more significant need but didn't say which state specifically.
“Don’t let this decision give you the impression that we are out of the woods. We have to keep our guard up and continue to stay home unless conducting essential activities to keep everyone healthy," said Inslee. "We requested this resource before our physical distancing strategies were fully implemented and we had considerable concerns that our hospitals would be overloaded with COVID-19 cases. But we haven’t beat this virus yet, and until we do, it has the potential to spread rapidly if we don’t continue the measures we’ve put in place."
While the field hospital is being returned to the federal government, Washington state has purchased equipment to support hospitals in the event there is a surge in positive COVID-19 cases.
So far, the state has purchased 1,000 hospital beds and more than 900 ventilators, according to a release from Gov. Inslee's office.
The state also finalized a lease to use the former Astria Regional Medical Center in Yakima to bolster surge capacity in Central Washington. The center could support an additional 250 non-coronavirus patients if needed.
It wasn't said when the field hospital and members of the 627th Army Hospital Center out of Colorado will be packing up and leaving Seattle.