Surge hospital opens on Texas southern border 

The McAllen (Texas) Convention Center is now open as a relief valve for Rio Grande Valley hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The facility will begin taking up to 50 patients and can accommodate 250.

Local hospitals can now transfer COVID-19 patients who require low- to mid-level care to the convention center, designed to serve as a recovery facility. 

McAllen's surrounding trauma service area has 2,843 total staffed hospital beds, with 618 available, and 41 intensive care unit beds open as of Aug. 5, per state health department data. There are 1,243 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients hospitalized throughout the trauma service area.

"The temporary healthcare facility in McAllen is an essential asset to this community and will help expand hospital capacity while we work to mitigate the spread of the virus in the region," said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. 

The McAllen Convention Center, a 174,000-square-foot multipurpose facility, opened in 2017.

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