Area Airman Returns From COVID-19 Site Assessment

Apr 6, 2020

A local doctor returning from a recent deployment with the 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria helped assess alternative care sites across the state.

Dr. Josh Carpenter is a hospitalist at OSF St. Mary Medical Center in Galesburg. He said the National Guard is helping to identify spaces to be used in an overflow situation that can house either COVID patients who don't require hospitalization but still need care, or other acute care patients.

"When all is said and done, this may be the most worthwhile thing that I've done in my life, should this be required, and should this work," he said.

Carpenter also said people shouldn't be scared of encroaching militarization if they see Illinois National Guard members out and about.

"The reality is, the reason we've been activated is because the National Guard is good at finding good solutions in suboptimal environments. And I think that applies now more than ever," he said.

Chicago's McCormick Place was just brought online as a 3,000 bed alternative care site. Springfield's Vibra Hospital was also reactivated. The U.S Army Corps of Engineers and Illinois National Guard are working to prep sites across the state to receive patients.

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