As Bucks County officials brace for a potential influx of COVID-19 patients, a sports training complex in Newtown has opened its doors to serve as a medical care facility.
The Newtown Athletic Club sits just off the Newtown Bypass. It features a gym, pools, spas, and even a water slide.
But for the foreseeable future, it will sit ready as a backup as a medical care facility for people with coronavirus. NAC Owner Jim Worthington and Bucks County officials announced the partnership at a press conference Wednesday.
“It’s the least we can do. The NAC has always been about helping the community and making a difference and making lives better,” he said. “I can’t think of a better way to chip in and help our community than to work with Diane Marseglia and her team here… We’re proud to step up, just like the community has stepped up for us over the last 42 years.”
County Commissioner Chairperson Diane Ellis-Marseglia said Worthington reached out to offer the facility a month ago.
“We are really grateful to Jim, and grateful to all of the people who are going to turn this into a convalescent place where people can get healthy again,” Marseglia said.
The Newtown Athletic Club will be the site for a temporary medical care facility with up to 100 beds. Doctors and nurses, many who are coming out of retirement, will tend to patients.
As Bucks surpassed 1,000 cases Thursday the possibility of patients overwhelming hospitals becomes even more real. Seventy people are in the hospital, an increase of 26 from just the day before.
Emergency Services Director Scott Forster said the county’s hospitals are not at the point yet where they are overrun with COVID-19 patients. Still, they don’t want to take the chance.
Forster also noted there is a second site in Upper Bucks being reviewed by the Army Corps of Engineers. It will serve as a backup if more beds are necessary.