College dorm rooms considered for coronavirus patients

Published: Mar. 21, 2020 at 6:01 PM EDT
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Hospitals are beginning to feel the pressure as Covid-19 continues to spread.

During Governor Gretchen Whitmer's most recent press conference, Michigan's Chief Medical Executive, Joneigh Khaldun, addressed the need for more hospital beds.

"Part of what we're doing as far as health care workforce and capacity is also bed capacity. So that's apart of what all those hospital coalitions have to send to us, is how many beds they have available and we're also working across the state to identify where there may be additional spaces where we could actually have hospitals and we're ordering hospital beds and other supplies in the same line," Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's Chief Medical Executive said.

The discussion began after hearing Michigan's Chief Medical Executive discuss the possibility of transforming empty college dorm rooms into extra space for patients if hospitals began to run out.

The question on everyone's mind is what this could mean for Michigan state university and other colleges around the state.

"It's a really good idea. We hear all this news about a lack of supplies and overpopulating hospitals and stuff. So yeah, whatever they can to make sure everybody has a place to stay," Alex Sax, Michigan State University freshman said.

Some parents say they're on board as well.

"I wouldn't be opposed to it at all. Obviously they would take the proper hygienic procedures t make sure everything's clean because she will be moving back into this dorm, but if it can be used I don't see any opposition," Kelly Sax, a Michigan State University dad said.

Most students say it could help a lot, but not everyone's completely on board.

"I feel like me as a student, I wouldn't want to come back with a bunch of risks here. I would still want it to be clean and safe once I get back," Nathalie Palacios, a Michigan State University sophomore said.

"I think it could definitely be a lot of cons to it but hopefully it doesn't get to that point," Abel Gonzales, a Lansing Community College student said.

Even then, Spartans say the impact this could have, can make the difference.

"I think at this point it's all hands on deck and you have to explore all the resources you have available. I'm an MSU grad and I would be proud of my school helping out under these circumstances," Sax said.

Right now, Michigan State University's spokesperson, Dan Olsen, says he's not aware of any plans to do this, but the school is open to working on ways to help.

No timeline has been given on when these changes could take place.