The facility will also be equipped with an isolation exhaust fan with HEPA filtration located outside of the facility, so that contaminated exhaust air within the facility is discharged to outside the facility. “I’m working on the Westchester Center because I want to help to provide additional hospital space for nurses and doctors to take care of our neighbors who have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus,” said Patrick Nejand, Quality Assurance Representative, New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York The Army Corps is converting 255,676-square-feet of the university’s campus to provide care for 1,028 non-Coronavirus patients and low acuity Coronavirus patients. They are building five climate-controlled tents on an open field on the campus grounds. Inside these tents it will resemble a hospital setting. There will be rows of individual patient care units or rooms that will include beds, privacy walls, medical supplies and equipment. In addition, there will be overhead lighting, restrooms, showers, nurs- ing stations, food service, and an computer station, powered by mul- tiple generators. “New York is the epicenter of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the nation and that is why we worked diligently and swiftly to complete four alternate care facilities in New York,” said Col. Thomas Asbery, Com- mander, New York District. “I am honored and humbled to lead this team of experts and profession- als who have set the standard for the emergency response to this public health crisis. What we did in New York is historic and unprecedented and will be carried out many times over Nationwide. Nonetheless, we still have much more work to do as we support FEMA, New York State and our local partners and stakeholders across New York. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue to work tirelessly at all levels in helping the American people recover from the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic." Anthony Ciorra, Mission Manager, New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who is working on the Stony Brook Alternate Care Center said, “My brother contracted the Coronavirus in March and become very sick. He developed pneumonia and was admitted to a hospital for 10 days.” He said, “This is an unprecedented time in all our lives and I wanted do my small part in making a difference in a monumental effort to fight this virus.” State University of New York at Old Westbury, New York At the university, the Army Corps will provide beds for 1,024 Corona- virus and non-Coronavirus patients.
They are building four climate-controlled tents in a large expanse of athletic fields and another unit in a gymnasium. Inside these tents it will resemble a hospital setting. There will be rows of individual patient care units or rooms that will include beds, privacy walls, medical supplies, and equipment. In addition, there will be overhead lighting, restrooms, showers, nurs- ing stations, food service, an computer station, powered by multiple generators, and overhead cameras to enable medical staff to monitor patients. “William Maher, Mission Manager, New York District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who is working on the State University of New York at Old Westbury Alternate Care Center said, “We’re meeting the challenge of building a high-quality patient care facility in a very short period of time.” Army Corps personnel are used to volunteering for national missions. Nejand volunteered for recovery operations for Hurricane Sandy and 9-11. He said, “During missions, I’m always impressed with the Army Corps ability to quickly mobilize personnel with local knowledge with technical experts nationwide to provide comprehensive response with methods to maintain accountability of all costs and scheduled completions.” These volunteers give more than just their time for these missions. “A lot of people are putting not only their lives, but the lives of their love ones at risk to get this mission executed,” said Paray. Presently, some of these alternate care facilities are completed and are assisting hospitals throughout New York State, lessoning some of the burden on their medical staff. Not only are hospitals grateful for the Army Corp’s work, so are the Coronavirus patients. Kevin McGann, who was hospitalized with Coronavirus symptoms said, “Based on all of the numbers coming out of New York State’s Governor Cuomo's daily briefings, I support the Army Corps mission 100-percent.” The 49-year-old New York City resident added, “Use tents, convert dormitories and hotels, and do whatever needs to be done to prepare for the possible onslaught of patients. Worst case is we look back and realize we didn't need all of them, but better to have them than have to decide who lives and who dies.”
DR. JOANNE CASTAGNA is a Public Affairs Specialist and Writer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District. She can be reached at Joanne.email@example.com.
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