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WEST ALLIS, Wis. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has started mobilizing the Exposition Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park here to develop an alternative care facility (ACF) that will support existing, local medical infrastructures in response to the spread of COVID-19.

Health officials have voiced concerns that the spread of the virus could mean larger numbers of people will need more medical care and public health services. But they also know the United States just doesn’t have the capacity to deal with that kind of volume of patient care.

Read: 5 things to know about COVID-19

“We are extremely appreciative of FEMA and the Army Corp of Engineers for their responsiveness as we continue to see an increase in the number of individuals testing positive for COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” said Gov. Tony Evers in a Thursday news release. “This alternative care facility will be a critical addition to the southeastern region of our state and will be essential to continuing to ensure our healthcare systems are not overwhelmed.”

The Army Corp of Engineers has hired Gilbane Building Company, Milwaukee, as the project’s general contractor. Local subcontractors that have signed-on to assist include:

  • HGA (Design)
  • Johnson Controls
  • Staff Electric
  • F. Ahern
  • Hetzel Sanfilippo

Additional details regarding facility operations, acuity level, and patient capacity will be shared as they become available.

Meanwhile, the Governor’s Office encourages everyone to do the following:

  • Stay at home as much as possible. Cancel events and avoid groups, gatherings, play dates, and nonessential appointments.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from other people, when possible.
  • Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching face, eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and cough and sneeze into
    your elbow.

Continue to visit the Department of Health Services COVID-19 informational website, This comprehensive website has resources, updates, and answers to commonly asked questions about COVID-19.

Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...