Utah Company Building Mobile COVID-19 Hospital Units
Apr 8, 2020, 8:51 PM | Updated: 9:33 pm
HARRISVILLE, Utah – A Utah company has begun building more than two dozen mobile hospital wings that could be used to serve COVID-19 patients.
The Weber County company builds the makeshift units out of shipping containers.
It takes seven shipping containers to build one COVID-19 mobile triage unit. The folks here at HHI Corporation say they would be easy to transport and set up just about anywhere, in a fairly short amount of time.
Workers are busy cutting, gutting, and molding dozens of shipping containers to help with the fight against coronavirus.
“We just feel like this is our little bit of contribution,” says executive vice president Cliff Hokanson.
A Utah company is re-purposing shipping containers to help in the fight against #COVID19. See how they're being turned into mobile triage units, on @KSL5TV at 5&6:30pm. #COVID19Utah pic.twitter.com/iIKpnmY7Qq
— Mike Anderson (@mikeandersonKSL) April 8, 2020
He says it seemed like something they had to do. Design plans were drawn up in just a couple of weeks.
“People are sewing masks. We don’t know how to sew, so this is what we do,” says Hokanson. “We weld. We put things together. We build things. This is our contribution.”
It will take seven shipping containers in all for one mobile unit. Five of the containers will make up a patient wing, and separate clean nurses station. The other two on the outside will house support equipment, including power, water, and sewer.
“We wanted to set up a mobile triage, or an infectious disease wing, that would be outside of a hospital, so the people that are most – or highly infectious, or suffering the most, they can put in here,” says Hokanson.
They’ll build up to 30 units to start. That’s more than 200 shipping containers, being converted to help fight COVID-19.
They’re also ready to build mobile testing units.
Hokanson says they pitched the idea to governments several years ago.
“Emergency management groups were not to ‘gung ho’ about this, because they said, ‘Well, we’ll never need this.’ and now today, well it’s a need,” he says.
Hakanson says their company felt they needed to contribute.
“We have about 140 employees, and everybody’s worried about their mom, their sister, their grandma, brothers,” he says.
There’s at least a bit of comfort in knowing they can help some people get the treatment they need.
HHI will donate their first complete mobile triage unit to a federal, state, or local municipality.