TCF Center set to receive first COVID-19 patients Friday

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — The temporary field hospital at the TCF Center in Detroit is scheduled to begin accepting patients Friday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office said Thursday.

Named the TCF Regional Care Center, the facility will have up to 1,000 beds to help with overflow as COVID-19 batters Metro Detroit's hospitals. The center is set to receive Friday its first 25 patients.

It will be staffed through a partnership involving Henry Ford Health System, McLaren Health Care, Beaumont Health and the Detroit Medical Center.

A journalist gets footage at the field hospital for non-critical COVID-19 patients at the TCF Center in Detroit  on April 6, 2020.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and contractors are building a 600 bed field hospital with negative pressure on the main floor and another 400 beds on the lower level with regular air pressure.

"Fighting this virus is going to take all of us working together as Michiganders, and we are proud to be partnering with these Michigan health care systems to help save lives and ensure those with the most serious cases of COVID-19 get the care they need," Whitmer said in a Thursday statement.

The TCF facility will receive patients from southeast Michigan hospitals at least 48 hours after those individuals are admitted as inpatients at one of the acute-care facilities, according to the governor's office. The center will not accept patients by ambulance or walk-up. And it will not have an intensive care unit area or provide care to patients who need ventilation.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief medical executive, has previously said the TCF Center will be used to serve COVID-19 patients who are not critically ill.

Wayne County, where the TCF Center is located, has the most confirmed COVID-19 cases of all counties in Michigan, which ranks third nationally for cases and deaths.

As of Wednesday, Michigan had more than 21,500 cases of the virus and 1,076 deaths.

The Michigan National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency assisted with logistics to create the alternative care facility at TCF.

Henry Ford Health System will support pharmaceutical purchasing and patient tracking services at the TCF Regional Care Center, according to the governor's office. Henry Ford will also have staff members at the facility, including the on-site clinical liaison.

Staff from McLaren Health Care will also support the site. Beaumont Health will assist with procurement for the center's operations, and DMC is supplying equipment, according to Whitmer's office.

Lynn Torossian, who most recently was president and CEO of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, will lead overall management of TCF Regional Care Center. Daniel Medrano, corporate vice president of facilities management at McLaren Health Care, will lead day-to-day operations.