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JQH Arena may be used as an alternative care center for COVID-19.
SBJ file photo
JQH Arena may be used as an alternative care center for COVID-19.

MSU buildings considered for alternative care sites

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Gov. Mike Parson yesterday announced that two buildings at Missouri State University are being assessed as potential alternative care sites.

Hammons Student Center and JQH Arena are among sites that may be used to care for COVID-19 patients, should hospitals be overrun by cases of the virus, according to a news release.

The Missouri National Guard is working with the Missouri Hospital Association and other organizations to find potential sites after Parson on March 27 signed an executive order enabling the Guard to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The COVID-19 crisis is constantly developing and changing, but we are taking steps each and every day to slow the spread and protect public health and safety,” Parson said in a news release the day he signed the order. “Mobilizing the National Guard will help us provide more immediate resources to our citizens and enhance Missouri’s ability to overcome this global pandemic.”

Other sites under consideration include the Missouri Southern State University Leggett & Platt Athletic Center in Joplin and Hearnes Arena in Columbia, according to yesterday's release.

At least one other Springfield site is being prepared for potential COVID-19 use.

Springfield Public Schools spokesman Stephen Hall said the former Doling school building at 1432 W. Atlantic St. is being prepped after a request from the Greene County Office of Emergency Management.

"We have cleaned the property and made it available to them for use, as needed," Hall said.

Features Editor Christine Temple contributed.

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