Soccer field

Field hospital under construction on Shoreline football field as King County braces for more COVID-19 cases

A football field in the Seattle suburb of Shoreline is becoming a temporary field hospital for people who fall ill during the coronavirus outbreak or are exposed and have nowhere to go.

On Wednesday afternoon, a construction team of around 10 men erected a massive tent covering almost half of a fenced football pitch. Meanwhile, a similar number of adults and children on the nearby field kicked soccer balls and threw softballs in the sun.

King County is preparing quarantine centers in the county to house people who are self-isolating or recovering from COVID-19 disease.

“Honestly, the first thing we thought about was a zombie apocalypse movie. It’s the only time you see a field hospital, ”said Tyler Sison of Shoreline, who was there kicking a soccer ball with a friend.

Inside a newly erected chain link fence around the Shoreline B football field, construction workers carried metal beams on their shoulders across the penalty area and used heavy lifting equipment to install a giant tent on the grass.

“It goes up really fast,” Sison said. “Surprising.”

Locals walked around to witness the historic transformation of the playground into a hospital.

“These actions are designed to help curb the spread of the disease, support people who have nowhere to go and, most importantly, to preserve our local hospital beds for the most seriously ill in our communities,” said the panels attached to the chain. link closure.

The field hospital will have up to 200 beds, according to the Town of Shoreline website, as part of King County’s efforts to add 3,000 medical beds.

“We believe it is essential that Shoreline do its part to help address this global crisis,” the city’s website says.

King County already has a motel in Kent that it uses as a quarantine center and said over the weekend it was preparing an Issaquah motel and parking at the Eastgate Transit Center in Bellevue for a similar use.

Two men who distracted curious people from the fenced construction site referred all questions to Public Health – Seattle & King County, who did not respond to a request for an interview.