A series of reports by Dallas-based architecture firm HKS looks at ways to transform hotels and schools into hospitals in two weeks. In its “COVID-19 Conversions” series, HKS examined how to convert and repurpose existing hotels and schools for extra patient care space that meets all licensing and compliance requirements.

According to the firm, full-service convention hotels in dense population centers are likely the best type of structure for conversion where different sections could be retrofitted to accommodate patients. Among school types, the firm says high schools, which are found in almost every community, have many of the features needed to support patient care.

For example, potential room-use conversions in a hotel as outlined by HKS include turning guest rooms into patient rooms, and spaces for clinical support or workstations, medical unit storage, and sleeping quarters for hospital staff; converting the lobby check-in area into a triage station for patient assessment, intake, and registration; and using conference rooms and large meeting areas to accommodate medication supplies, and as central point of care testing and support for hospital administration and nursing.

Potential room-use conversions in a high school requires minimal intervention and/or construction. As outlined by HKS, small wards can be created in classrooms and gymnasiums can be converted to house between 80 and 150 COVID-19 patients, depending on the facility and the ancillary spaces available.

The series can be downloaded from the HKS’s website.