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City closes alternate care site at convention center, last patient discharged

An alternate care site at the Austin Convention Center that opened to care for COVID patients amid rising hospitalizations is now closing the city announced Saturday. (Laura Figi)

The Austin Convention Center will no longer be used to hospitalize COVID-19 patients, the city announced Saturday.

The alternate care site, which was set up to care for COVID positive patients in the summer to help lessen the burden on hospitals, stopped taking new patients on March 8, and the final patient was discharged Saturday.

While set up in the summer, the first patients were not admitted into the convention center until Jan. 12; the site cared for 215 patients in the span, including from 11 different counties.

"We are happy to see the facility is no longer needed. The power to never need a COVID-19 Alternate Care Site again is in the community's hands," said Dr. Jason Pickett, Austin-Travis County alternate health authority.

If hospitals become overwhelmed with COVID patients again, the city is prepared to bring the alternate care site back.


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