Herculean Effort! 1400 New Beds Added to Renown in Preparation of Nevada’s COVID-19 Peak

Posted by on Apr 16, 2020 in Featured Artists and Inspirations
Herculean Effort! 1400 New Beds Added to Renown in Preparation of Nevada’s COVID-19 Peak

Renown parking structure turned 1,400-bed coronavirus care facility is ready for patients.

In just 10 days, Renown Regional Medical Center has increased its ability to cope with the spread of COVID-19 by about 173 percent.

They’ve done this by retrofitting the regional trauma center’s Mill Street parking structure into a three-story temporary facility designed to hold 1,400 coronavirus patients at peak capacity.

Construction of the temporary facility was “herculean,” according to Renown CEO Tony Slonim, a roughly $11 million precautionary effort that will help our region’s healthcare system cope with an expected influx of coronavirus cases.

Just one of the temporary facility’s two 700-bed floors nearly matches Renown’s normal 808-bed capacity.A worker dusts inside a floor of a Renown parking structure that has been turned into a hospital in preperation for the COVID-19 patients on April 14, 2020.

Photo Caption: A worker dusts inside a floor of a Renown parking structure that has been turned into a hospital in preparation for the COVID-19 patients on April 14, 2020. (Photo: Andy Barron/RGJ)

The facility is spartan, but clean.

Rows of dozens of neatly-bedded cots crosshatch the structure’s expansive interior underneath a ceiling lined with the buildout’s exposed HVAC and electrical guts. There are no privacy partitions between the beds, and ventilated Sani-huts serve as backups for a handful of plumbed toilets on each floor.

A partitioned staff area splits each patient floor into two sides. That staff area is full of computer monitors and other medical equipment, ready to be used.  

Despite its differences from a normal hospital setting, the facility is clean, orderly and appears well-equipped. The entire structure is also negatively pressured, a safety measure taken so potentially contagious particulates aren’t blown into the outside world through an open door.

Renown’s existing 808-bed hospital remains the first line of defense. Patients — both those with COVID-19 and those without — will continue to be admitted there until it’s at capacity.

Once that building is full, overflow patients will begin occupying beds in the alternate care facility. If that were to happen, the most critical patients, such as those who need ventilators, will remain inside the main hospital structure.

Despite his not-for-profit hospital’s multi-million dollar investment in anticipation of that surge, Slonim hopes the facility never opens its doors.

“Best news is that we never have to open it,” he said during a tour of the facility on Tuesday. “This would all be a planning exercise and we close it up and go back to work, that would be amazing.”

Marie Wikoff is the creator of Wikoff Design Studio based out of Reno, Nevada. Her expertise in healthcare design has helped develop modern design for healthcare organizations locally, regionally and internationally. Her credentials include Evidence-Based Design Accreditation and Certification (EDAC), American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designer (CHID), the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and LEED AP. Contact Marie Wikoff


Gross, Sam. “Renown Parking Structure Turned 1,400-Bed Coronavirus Care Facility Is Ready for Patients.” Reno Gazette Journal, Reno Gazette Journal, 15 Apr. 2020, www.rgj.com/story/news/2020/04/14/coronavirus-news-nevada-reno-renown-parking-garage-turned-facility-covid-19-patients/2993395001/.

Barron, Andy. “WATCH: Renown Turns Parking Lot into Hospital amid COVID-19 Pandemic.” Reno Gazette-Journal, Reno Gazette Journal, 2020, www.rgj.com/videos/news/2020/04/14/watch-renown-turns-parking-lot-into-hospital/2991755001/.

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