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Quincy Medical Center Could Reopen To Treat Coronavirus Patients

QUINCY (CBS) - The city of Quincy is exploring options to deal with the growing coronavirus outbreak. One idea is to reopen Quincy Medical Center, which has been closed for years.

Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch says the city has been trying to keep up with the outbreak, which gets worse by the day. Last week the city had one case. Now there are nine. Koch warns, "every expert has been saying it's going to get worse before it gets better."

In the event it does get worse, Koch says Quincy Medical Center could serve a purpose. The shuttered hospital, which closed in 2014, could be used to treat patients or as a sample collection site.

Quincy Medical Center (Image credit Nick Emmons/WBZ)

If it were to be used as a hospital again, Koch says it would require a lot of work. "If there's floors without plumbing. If there's floors without power," said Koch, "those are major issues for a hospital."

It wouldn't be a project for the city to handle. Koch believes it would be a job for the Army Corp of Engineers. "I think that's a worst case scenario where if the federal government wanted to come in and take it over, we'd all be working with them on that," Koch said.

Another option is to use the hospital grounds as a sample collection site should health officials say it's necessary. "That could be a testing site perhaps," Koch said. "We can bring the tents in, we've already lined that up logistically."

The concern would be staffing those tents with medical personnel. Hospitals will likely be stretched thin if cases spike dramatically. For now, Koch says he's, "preparing for the worst, hoping for the best."

As far as how the city could pay for the tents and medical supplies needed to set up a collection site, Koch is hoping to tap into unused snow removal funds after this past mild winter.

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