Columbus convention center to be used as surge site by hospitals during coronavirus response

File photo (aceshot1 /

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Central Ohio Hospital Council has announced the Greater Columbus Convention Center will be used as a surge location during the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The council said the site will be used in the event there is a surge of patients needing treatment at local hospitals.

The council released the following statement on Saturday:

As we have done multiple times in recent years in response to local public health crises, the health systems within central Ohio are actively collaborating on our community’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Representatives from our organizations have been meeting routinely since late January to discuss COVID-19 when the first cases were announced in the United States. Hospitals across the country are preparing for a potential surge of patients with COVID-19 that will need care in the hospital. Like most hospitals, each of our surge plans also includes the potential of extending hospital care into other sites in the community such as hotels, dorms or arenas.

In collaboration with Columbus Public Health, Franklin County Public Health, the Central Ohio Hospital Council, and the Central Ohio Trauma System, our health systems have been in discussions about the development of a single, external surge site for the past few weeks. Mount Carmel, OhioHealth and The OSU Wexner Medical Center have agreed to co-locate our external surge sites at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Current pandemic planning shows that Nationwide Children’s Hospital may not need an external surge site, but there is ample space to accommodate Children’s patients at the Convention Center if that were necessary.

Prior to implementing a major community surge plan such as this one, hospitals will continue to maximize our existing capacities. That planning and coordination continues with regional hospitals, nursing homes and surgery centers as we work as a community to maximize our resources.

More details on this effort will be available in the coming days.


Coronavirus: What you need to know

There are now 33,892 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio; 2,041 people have died from the virus and 6,130 were hospitalized, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Breakdown of Ohio cases by county >>

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in a couple of weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.

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