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COVID-19 Alternate Care Sites (ACS)

In early 2020, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee directed his Unified Command Group (Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, Tennessee Dept. of Health, and Tennessee Dept. of Military) to begin planning measures for adding capacity should Tennessee hospitals become overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. 

Following preparatory measures with the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, and utilizing dedicated federal funds, UCG worked with local officials to open two, COVID-19 alternate care sites in Memphis and Nashville using a regional framework approach to add hospital bed capacity based on the potential needs of communities and hospitals.

In Memphis, the UCG established an alternate care site at the former home of The Commercial Appeal, 495 Union Ave., to serve COVID-19 patients in the mid-south region. In Nashville, UCG renovated two floors at Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, 1818 Albion St., as a long-term, COVID-19 hospital surge option for the middle Tennessee region.

As the spread of COVID-19 declined and more Tennesseans received life-saving COVID-19 vaccines, the state of Tennessee did not have to utilize the Memphis and Nashville alternate care sites, and deconstruction of the sites began in April 2021.