By March 31, 2020 Read More →

Coronavirus Update: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers takes assessment of OVMC hospital site

ERIC AYRES, The Intelligencer of Wheeling

WHEELING, W.Va. — A team of representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers performed a site assessment at the former Ohio Valley Medical Center’s west tower Monday afternoon in preparation for a possible surge in COVID-19 cases in the region.

Representatives of the property, now owned by Medical Properties Trust, along with Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott and Vice Mayor Chad Thalman, joined the team of engineers to tour the newer wing of the former hospital. Since OVMC was fully operational before it closed its doors just in September, officials have targeted the site as one that could be quickly repurposed and opened in the case of an emergency that would require additional medical treatment facilities if local hospitals were to be flooded beyond capacity with coronavirus patients.

The data collected Monday will be reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which along with officials from the State of West Virginia will decide whether or not OVMC should be used as a regional alternate medical location in the event of a pandemic surge.

“Under a federal planning mission assignment that we share with the states and FEMA, site assessments like the one being conducted today are an effort to shape possible missions to provide West Virginia with alternate care facilities,” said Mark Thompson, representative of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Thompson said teams from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers already have looked at other locations in the southern part of West Virginia, but OVMC is the only site in the Northern Panhandle that has been considered.

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