A field hospital is being built on the Shoreline football field as King County prepares for more COVID-19 cases
A football field in the Seattle suburb of Shoreline is becoming a temporary field hospital for people who fall ill during the coronavirus outbreak or are exposed and have nowhere to go.
On Wednesday afternoon, a construction crew of about 10 men erected a massive tent covering almost half of a fenced football pitch. Meanwhile, a similar number of adults and children on the nearby field kicked soccer balls and threw softballs into the sun.
King County is preparing quarantine centers around the county to house people self-isolating or recovering from COVID-19 illness.
“Honestly, the first thing we thought of was a zombie apocalypse movie. That’s the only time you see a field hospital,” said Shoreline’s Tyler Sison, who was there typing in a soccer ball with a friend.
Inside a newly erected chain-link fence around the Shoreline B soccer field, construction workers carried metal beams on their shoulders across the penalty area and used heavy lifting equipment to erect a giant tent on the grass.
“It’s going up really fast,” Sison said. “Surprising.”
Neighborhood people strolled to witness the historic transformation of the playground into a hospital.
“These actions are designed to help stop the spread of the disease, support people who have nowhere to go and, most importantly, preserve our local hospital beds for the most seriously ill people in our communities,” reads the panels attached to the chain-link fence.
The field hospital will have up to 200 beds, according to the City of Shoreline websiteas part of King County’s effort to add 3,000 medical beds.
“We believe it is essential that Shoreline do its part to help resolve this global crisis,” the city said. website states.
King County already has a motel in Kent that it uses as a quarantine center and this weekend said it was preparing an Issaquah motel and parking lot at the Eastgate Transit Center in Bellevue for similar use.
Two men who turned curious people away from the fenced construction site referred all questions to Public Health – Seattle & King County, which did not respond to a request for an interview.