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Corps of Engineers Teams Evaluate Sites as Possible Alternate Care Facilities

March 30, 2020 | BY Brannen Parrish

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers teams are evaluating facilities for possible conversion into alternate care facilities as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tulsa District has assembled field assessment teams tasked with evaluating existing sites and are working closely with FEMA and with state and local partners to best facilitate a quick response should the need arise to have additional alternate care facilities opened, officials said.

A man wearing a yellow vest and a white hard hat aims a device at a ceiling.
Building Assessment
Members of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District team assess an Oklahoma building for possible conversion into an alternate care facility, March 28, 2020. Corps of Engineer teams are conducting similar assessments in key locations at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and state officials to aid in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo By: Preston L. Chasteen, Army
VIRIN: 200328-A-IF821-0024

"We are here to solve our nation's greatest engineering challenges. We are committed to serving the citizens of our three states and doing what we can to get through this crisis," said Army Col. Scott Preston, Tulsa District commander.

Nationwide, the Corps of Engineers has received eight FEMA mission assignments totaling about $1.1 billion and has engaged 15,000 personnel in the response effort.

Information pertaining to specifications and implementation of the alternate care sites is available at https://www.usace.army.mil/Coronavirus/Alternate-Care-Sites/.

Engineers wearing yellow vests and white hard hats speak with a hotel manager wearing a Hawaiian shirt.
Alternate Care Facility
Engineers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Honolulu District, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and state and county officials, conduct an assessment at one of three hotels under consideration as alternate care facilities in Maui County, Hawaii, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, March 27, 2020.
Photo By: Meg Ryan, Army
VIRIN: 200327-D-RV424-575C

Contractors with experience in build-out or retrofit of arenas, convention centers, dorms, hotels and similar buildings into alternate care space can send capability statements to: COVIDContracting@usace.army.mil. Officials emphasized that this email address is only for capability statements for firms interested in the build-out and retrofit of existing space into alternate care facilities.

Other vendors — such as for cleaning and disinfecting services, supplies, etc. — should register their firm at https://www.beta.SAM.gov to become part of the National Disaster Response Registry.

Two men wearing red polo shirts inspect a room.
Facility Assessment
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District engineers conduct an alternate care facility assessment in Pennsylvania, March 25, 2020. Corps of Engineer teams are conducting similar assessments in key locations at the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and state officials to aid in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo By: Jess Levenson, Army
VIRIN: 200325-A-PG036-097

During emergencies the Army Corps of Engineers is the federal government's lead public works and engineering support agency. Its extensive work in building medical facilities for its military stakeholders makes the organization uniquely qualified to tackle this engineering challenge, officials said.

(Brannen Parrish is assigned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District.)