KEY POINTS

  • Hundreds of troops built hospital inside Seattle convention center 
  • Field hospital will be moved to another location without ever serving any patients 
  • Officials think other states need the hospital setup more than Washington does

An enormous army field hospital built inside a Seattle convention center just a week ago is already being dismantled. The hospital hadn't treated even one patient with symptoms due to COVID-19.

The hospital will be moved to another area with a more dire need for supplies and assistance with treating patients,  said Washington governor Jay Inslee Wednesday. 

"We requested this resource before our physical distancing strategies were fully implemented and we had considerable concerns that our hospitals would be overloaded with COVID-19 cases," Inslee said of the hospital's dismantling. 

The field hospital was brought to life with the help of nearly 300 soldiers from Fort Carson, Colorado and Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington. The facility was raised inside CenturyLink Field Event Center for patients who do not have COVID-19. It contained 250 beds, a makeshift intensive care unit, surgical facilities, X-ray machines, and a wide spectrum of additional supplies and equipment. 

Washington took important measures early on during the outbreak to try and limit the spread of the coronavirus, and as a result ended up slowing the disease's rate of infection, according to Inslee. Because of these precautions, hospitals in the area have been able to support the rapid influx of patients affected by the illness. 

But despite the decision to send the pop-up field hospital elsewhere, Inslee cautioned citizens not to assume the state is "out of the woods," as the need for social distancing and quarantine measures is still very real. 

It isn't clear where the supplies and hospital equipment will be sent just yet, but the three states hardest-hit by the illness are New York, New Jersey, and Michigan at the moment.