CLEVELAND — As Ohio continues to battle the coronavirus (COVID-19), one of Cleveland's biggest facilities could be getting put to new use.
At her daily address on Monday, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton shared that Cleveland's I-X Center could soon be transformed into a field hospital to help treat coronavirus patients. Based on the state's current projections, which show that Ohio is expected to peak with 10,000 new daily cases in mid-late April, Governor Mike DeWine said last week that Ohio will need to either double or triple its hospital capacity in the coming days.
As of Monday, Ohio has filled close to 60 percent of its ICU capacity with cases expected to increase dramatically in the coming days and weeks.
In addition to the I-X Center, Acton mentioned Cincinnati's Duke Energy Center as another potential location. Empty hotel and dorm rooms have also been pinpointed to be converted into hospital capacity.
The 2,200,000 square foot I-X Center is located by Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport. It is traditionally used as an exhibition and conference center.
As of Monday, Ohio has had 1,933 confirmed coronavirus cases, 475 of which have resulted in hospitalization, 163 ICU admissions and 39 deaths. On March 23, a stay-at-home order set to last until at least April 6 went into effect.