GLEN MILLS, PA. (CBS) — Delaware County is set to play a major role in the fight against the coronavirus. Military personnel began unloading equipment on Saturday at the Glen Mills School, which is preparing to become a FEMA medical center.
The new medical facility will be able to house 250 beds for patients not affected by COVID-19.
In the pouring rain on Saturday, troops from the 103rd Army Engineer Brigade unloaded bins containing beds and medical equipment inside the gym at the now unused Glen Mills School.
The site will be set up to serve as a federal medical station for non-coronavirus patients with less severe conditions from regional hospitals.
Once complete, the facility will be able to house patients recovering from surgeries not related to COVID-19 in the event that a hospital is full of coronavirus patients.
The National Guard will be setting the site up over the next few days. It will be staffed by medical personnel from hospitals across the region.
Delaware County Emergency Services Director Tim Boyce explained how the school will serve patients.
“Setting up the hospital in the gym is a logistics challenge, but thankfully that’s why the Army’s here,” Boyce said. “The Army Engineer Brigade has the resources, the talents, they have the planning from the Department of Health. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management ultimately coordinating it.
“Over the last couple of days we planned for this and now the troops are here to deliver.”
“We have federal, state, local all working together,” Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon said. “Wawa’s sending out coffee for volunteers, so it’s really the whole community coming to get to try to be ready for the surge of patients we expect.”
In a statement, the campus said, “The Glen Mills Schools stands in support of state and regional efforts and is glad to partner with Delaware County Emergency Services by serving as a much-needed resource for the community.”