This hospital was built for a pandemic

Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center was built after 9/11 to handle mass casualties. The coronavirus outbreak poses its first big test.

April 9, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. EDT

CHICAGO — As this city braces for April 20, the anticipated peak of coronavirus infections here, doctors and nurses at Rush University Medical Center say they are prepared, not just because of their training, but because of where they work: A 14-story, 830,000-square-foot facility built specifically for a deadly pandemic.

The butterfly-shaped building, known as “the Tower,” opened in January 2012 as the first of its kind in the United States. Built at a cost of $654 million in the shadow of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks, the facility was designed to be able to quickly handle waves of patients, expand its bed capacity to 133 percent and control airflow to entire sections of the structure to prevent cross-contamination.  Read More

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