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Teams considering sites including War Memorial Stadium, hotels for possible transition to care facilities

by Stephen Simpson | March 27, 2020 at 11:50 a.m.
War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock is shown in a 2014 file photo.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Little Rock has assembled teams to evaluate sites in Arkansas ranging from War Memorial Stadium to local hotels for the possible conversion into “alternate care" facilities.

Randall Townsend, chief of public affairs at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said the sites might be used as temporary hospitals or just an area for those who don’t have a place to stay during the covid-19 pandemic.

“We are working to get a third team set up,” Townsend said. “The covid virus isn’t waiting on us so we are trying to make this as short of a process as possible.”

The Corps’ teams, at the request of FEMA and the state, are evaluating facilities around Arkansas to best facilitate a quick response should the need arise to have more sites constructed.

Townsend said the Corps of Engineers already has pre-planned designs for different sites and the teams will try to find the best buildings or facilities that can implement those designs. He said the state will make the final decision on which ones are used.

"The teams are all local," Townsend said. "They all live here and probably have families who have kids at home right now because of this virus. They are true Arkansans and they know where to go."

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