State officials say so far they’ve validated five potential sites that could accommodate just over 600 beds, if Minnesota’s regular hospitals are overloaded by the coming peak in COVID-19 cases. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Joe Kelly:

“Our goal is to identify space for 2750 beds — that’s a thousand in the metro and 250 in each of seven regions around the state.”

Kelly stresses that would be in addition to extra capacity that hospitals are currently setting up on site. He says validated facilities would be converted to temporary hospitals when and where they are needed.

“Our goal and what we will have in place is the ability to have a facility remodeled, if you will, and operational within 48 to 72 hours of deciding to move forward.”

Kelly says he hopes Minnesota never needs any of the alternate care sites — much less all of them at the same time — but he says the state needs to have a plan ready to go.