By Dan Koob

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Hospitals in the region are busy but not overwhelmed. That means many field hospitals, like the one set up at Temple University’s Liacouras Center, have not been called to duty just yet.

Turning the Liacouras Center’s floor into a field hospital was a preemptive move by the city to help its citizens. Two days into transitioning into a COVID-19 site, not one patient has come through its doors.

“You can’t put a price on a life,” Field Hospital CEO Sandy Gomberg said, “and you certainly can’t put a price on the safety of the public.”

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Repurposing the Liacouras Center is a better safe than sorry measure, and a bold one Gomberg says, to preserve the health of Philadelphians.

“Right now, we don’t have any patients but we are ready if any of the organizations need us,” Gomberg said.

Health Commissioner Dr. Tom Farley’s updated numbers found 33% of hospital beds within the city’s five counties are still available.

Open beds in hospitals mean the basketball building with over 100 workers sits empty.

“If we never see a patient that would mean the City of Philadelphia was successful in people staying at home, in doing the right thing and containing the virus,” Gomberg said. “So we would consider that an absolute success.”


Gomberg says they are working with the chief medical officers everyday of surrounding hospitals to monitor volume.

But to be clear, if there is any space in other hospitals, the health commissioner wants patients sent there. The Liacouras Center is here to provide insurance.