Governor Hutchinson authorizes two alternative care sites to be constructed for additional bed space

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that two additional alternative care sites will be constructed in partnership with Baptist Health Systems.

According to Governor Hutchinson, the two spaces will have 124 new beds. Some of them will be ICU beds, along with regular hospital beds. COVIDcomm is set to manage the two spaces.

The two locations will be in Van Buren and Central Arkansas. Governor Hutchinson says the space in Van Buren should be open in 6-8 weeks.

In Van Buren there will be 74 beds, in which eight of the beds assigned to the ICU.

“We have to be ready for whatever comes in January. It is my hope that we will build this out and not have to utilize those beds for COVID patients,” Governor Hutchinson says.

Hutchinson says the cost will be $7.4 million. Hutchinson says the hope is that FEMA will cover 80% of the cost, while the state will cover the other 20%.

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