Westlake Hospital to reopen to house COVID-19 patients
Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park will be reopened in the coming weeks to help house new coronavirus patients, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday.
The facility, which closed last August, will have 230 temporary hospital beds to treat patients.
It is the third former hospital that will re-open to support the existing hospital infrastructure. Officials previously announced plans to temporarily reopen the old Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin and MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, which combined will house 500 patients.
Pritzker said work at these facilities, in addition to the planned 3,000 hospital beds at Chicago’s McCormick Place, will be completed “on a rolling basis” through April. He said the administration is also working to add capacity at existing hospitals.
“Because of the lack of immunity in our population, there is a greater risk of overwhelming our medical systems if too many people get sick from it all at once,” he said. “It’s that simple, and that is why we are building up the necessary hospital capacity and alternate care facilities as much as we can muster in the coming weeks.”
Officials are also finalizing a deal to open an alternate care facility in central Illinois. Pritzker said those details will be released in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, state officials reported 16 more deaths Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 157. There were 715 new cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 7,695 in 61 counties. There have been 43,656 individuals tested in Illinois.
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