'Last resort' medical shelter being built at NRG complex

A medical shelter is being built at NRG Park.

The project is a collaboration between Houston, Harris County, and other local, state, and federal partners.

The purpose of the facility is to provide health and medical-related care to COVID-19 patients if hospitals exceed their capacities.

While there are no plans to open the shelter at this time, the county is determined to provide additional support to the medical community during this pandemic.

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The NRG complex will be used as a “last resort” medical shelter in the scenario that the hospitals were to reach capacity, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo says.

“We hope that will not get to a point where we need to use it. That would mean that our hospitals have used up their capacity, have used up their surge capacity and now will have to use the capacity we are building at NRG,” Judge Hidalgo said.

Judge Hidalgo says construction is starting right now in the parking lot because the indoor areas are still being cleared out from the rodeo.

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"We don’t want to be in a situation where we are trying to build something in the middle of an even deeper crisis," Hidalgo added. So what we have decided to do is get ahead of this challenge and start building a last-resort medical shelter now."

The judge says the structures are coming up this week. There will be three 250-bed modules.

As far as staffing, the plan is to get medical teams from outside of the Houston area.

This medical shelter will be activated if and as soon as local hospitals run out of space, including surge space.