PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is teaming up with the Arizona National Guard to reactivate St. Luke's Hospital to help with the shortage of beds during the coronavirus pandemic.
During a news conference on Monday, Dr. Cara Christ, who oversees the Department of Health Services, said the two agencies have started work to open the health care facility at 16th and Van Buren streets. The move will add about 340 ICU beds. The hospital closed in November because there weren't enough patients.
"None of them will require construction. In fact, that's probably the beauty of it."
Christ has said before that under the worst-case scenario, Arizona would need an extra 13,000 hospital beds and 1,500 ICU beds. There are plans for field hospitals in Phoenix and Tucson. The Army Corps of Engineers and the National Guard also evaluated Scottsdale Liberty Hospital, which was a specialized surgery hospital until it was closed its doors last fall.