Coronavirus Illinois: Westlake Hospital in Melrose Park to re-open as Army Corps of Engineers begins construction

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Construction got underway Monday at the former Westlake Hospital in suburban Melrose Park which is being repurposed to house COVID-19 patients.

It's one of several alternate care facilities in the works including McCormick Place in Chicago, Metro South Hospital in Blue Island and the former Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin.

Coronavirus Illinois Update: Latest news on COVID-19 cases, Chicago area impact

Westlake Hospital has been closed for months, but the Army Corps of Engineers transforming the hospital. With funding approval from FEMA, the closed hospital will support patients who need ICU-Style care. The facility will be able to treat 230 patients, and possibly up to 350.

"We want to bring as much capacity online as quickly as we can," said Army Corps of Engineers Col. Aaron Reisinger, who commands the agency's Chicago district.

SEE INSIDE: Chicago's makeshift hospital for COVID-19 patients at McCormick Place

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Get a first look inside the makeshift hospital built to care for COVID-19 patients at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The hospital will exclusively handle overflow of coronavirus patients when the state hits its peak. Construction is set to be completed in three weeks.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has created a hotline at 1-800-889-3931. More information can be found at the IDPH website and the Chicago Department of Public Health websiteid
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