AUSTIN, Texas – Hospitals across the United States are inundated with COVID-19 patients, including here in Texas.

What You Need To Know

  • Preparations for the field hospital started weeks ago

  • Adler says it will be ready around July 20 or 22

  • He hopes the city doesn't end up needing it

Over the weekend, the Atlanta convention center was turned back into a makeshift field hospital to accommodate a growing number of coronavirus patients and Austin’s convention center will soon be turned into a field hospital as well.

On Sunday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler gave an update on the plan, saying the field hospital should be done around July 20 or 22.

Adler said preparations started a few weeks ago when case numbers first started “screaming upwards.” He says it takes about four weeks from start to finish before the makeshift hospital is functional and can receive patients.

“My fingers are still crossed that we're not going to need it, but again, we are on the edge. What makes this hard is that you have to act now to impact numbers in two or three weeks. It's not anything you can impact overnight,” he said.

Adler also said he’s been getting calls from other parts of the state that are worse off asking if patients can be sent to Austin.

Austin-area hospitals are already treating some coronavirus patients from Travis, Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, and Williamson counties.

“Austin is a cautionary tale” said Adler, saying that other cities cannot follow in the city’s footsteps for reopening.