Makeshift hospital at Freeman Coliseum could be put to use in coming days, county commissioner warns

Expo hall that once held conventions may hold patients next

The makeshift hospital in the Freeman Coliseum. (Justin Rodriguez, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – If COVID-19 hospitalization trends continue in Bexar County, it won’t be long before officials activate a makeshift hospital at the Freeman Coliseum.

Bexar County Pct. 2 Commissioner Justin Rodriguez toured the potential hospital last week, calling it a “surreal experience.”

“It brought home the importance of the severity of the situation that we’re in,” Rodriguez said.

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The commissioner posted pictures of the site on Twitter, telling his followers that “now’s the time” to follow social distancing guidelines.

Currently, only 12% of staffed hospital beds are available in Bexar County, and COVID-19 hospitalizations have been growing steadily since June. Nearly 1,200 patients are in the hospital as they battle COVID-19.

If capacity falls “well below” 10%, the backup site would be activated by the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council, Rodriguez said.

“While it’s unsettling, our job is to be prepared,” Rodriguez said.

The commissioner is hoping the public will do its part to keep the hospitals from overflowing.

“This is not something you want to see and the last thing a family member would want is to be in a makeshift hospital room in an expo,” Rodriguez said.

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Medical experts recommend people stay at home amid the pandemic, practice good hygiene and wear a mask in public.