The Music City Center will no longer be needed as a 1,600-bed field hospital to increase capacity in Nashville. Instead, the state’s Unified Command Group has decided to renovate two unused floors of Metro Nashville General Hospital.
“Our hope is we do not have to activate the Nashville alternate care site,” Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey says. “However, Nashville General will keep the facility on standby until TDH and Metro Nashville officials determine the extra patient capacity is needed for the region.”
The expansion, coordinated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, adds an additional 67 beds, which will be for COVID-19 patients with less severe symptoms. Officials have not said how much the upgrades cost, but Mayor John Cooper expects it was far less than the transformation of MCC would have been.
“Blessedly, we don’t have to have 1,600 emergency beds that would have been tens of millions of dollars or more to bring online,” Cooper says.
The improvements to Nashville General Hospital will also provide lasting benefits to a facility that has put off maintenance and upgrades as the hospital has weathered regular budget challenges.
“It couldn’t be in a better place,” Cooper says.