State Fair Park COVID-19 facility closing as COVID-19 hospitalizations in Wisconsin trend downward

WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- As COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to fall, the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) announced Friday, March 19, that the decommissioning process has begun for the Alternate Care Facility (ACF) at Wisconsin State Fair Park. 

“The Alternate Care Facility was constructed as hospitalizations from COVID-19 were increasing across our state to ensure that our health systems and local governments could continue to provide high-quality care to Wisconsinites,” said DOA Secretary Joel Brennan. “It not only brought relief to our hospitals but also provided quality and compassionate healthcare to Wisconsinites in their time of need.”

“The ACF was a valuable resource during the fall surge of COVID-19 cases. Knowing this facility was available gave providers and health systems confidence that we had options as our own hospitals and clinics filled up with COVID-19 patients. ACF staff was professional, responsive, and easy to work with,” commented Bartho Caponi, MD, UW Health.

According to a news release, a total of 170 individuals received treatment at the facility between October 2020 and January 1, 2021, as part of Wisconsin’s continuum of care efforts. 

In February 2021, the ACF was placed into “mothball” status meaning that it was not actively accepting transfers from hospitals, while DHS and DOA continued to review data and continued conversations with health systems. Sanitation of the facility has already begun, with Wisconsin State Fair Park expected to be back to its original state before the end of April.

“We are grateful to Wisconsin State Fair Park’s leaders, Board, and staff who have been critical partners throughout the construction and operation of the ACF,” said Brennan. “Their willingness to be flexible and serve their fellow Wisconsinites at a historic time is truly commendable.”

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