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State agencies looking at sites to convert into medical facilities

parson covid 3-26
Gov. Mike Parson, right, speaks on March 26 about the state's response to COVID-19.


Several state agencies are working together to find sites capable of converting into medical facilities if needed.

Gov. Mike Parson said the state's Medicaid chief, Todd Richardson, was looking into the issue alongside the State Emergency Management Agency. Parson said the groups were also working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Guard to help.

"We're finding sites all over the state of Missouri that we can convert into medical facilities or hospital beds, no matter if they're in rural Missouri or urban Missouri," Parson said.

The state reported 502 people with a confirmed case of COVID-19 on Thursday afternoon.

Mid-Missouri has a handful of counties with licensed beds for intensive care, where hospital staff usually treat patients "with life-threatening injuries and illnesses," according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Numbers from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and Kaiser Health Network show that mid-Missouri has 222 ICU beds.

  • SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital - Audrain: 5 beds
  • Boone Hospital Center (Columbia): 32 beds
  • University Hospital (Columbia): 95 beds (82 adult, 13 pediatric)
  • Lake Regional Health System (Osage Beach): 18 beds
  • Capital Region Medical Center (Jefferson City): 12 beds
  • SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital - Jefferson City: 12 beds
  • Phelps Health (Rolla): 18 beds
  • Moberly Regional Medical Center: 8 beds
  • Fitzgibbon Hospital (Marshall): 7 beds

Parson did not specify where the team was looking. Emails to the Department of Social Services, where Richardson works, and SEMA went unanswered on Thursday afternoon.

MU Health Care spokesman Eric Maze said the hospital system has flexibility in using its facilities to help with the response.

"We are constantly monitoring space needs and considerations, and we have the ability to make adjustments to open up additional beds in certain units if needs arise," Maze said.

Coronavirus / Governor of Missouri / Health / Missouri / Top Stories

Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors the 5 p.m. show for ABC 17 News and reports on the latest news around mid-Missouri at 9 and 10 p.m.


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