U.S. ARMY PHOTO BY TREVOR WELSH
USACE’s Fort Worth District worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 6 and the DOD, as well as state and local partners, to address possible medical facility shortages across Texas. It also assembled field assessment teams tasked with evaluating existing sites for the possible conversion into alternate care facilities in Texas. “Our engineers and technical experts are trained and prepared for this type of emergency response and [have] assisted the nation and the state of Texas to the very best of our capabilities during this crisis. We continue to be available to help ensure our state has what it needs to fight the COVID19 pandemic,” said Col. Kenneth Reed, Fort Worth District commander. The Fort Worth District’s teams, at the request of FEMA and the state of Texas, evaluated facilities across the state in the early stages of the pandemic. “Our assessments were done under the direction of FEMA in support of the state. We worked in partnership with the Texas Army National Guard, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Texas Department of Emergency Management,” said team lead Matthew Sargent.
A team from USACE’s Fort Worth District conducted assessments in the Dallas/Fort Worth area in March for proposed COVID-19 alternate care facility sites under the direction of FEMA in support of the state of Texas.
In total, the team conducted approximately 21 site assessments in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. “During the assessments, we looked at each of those facilities to determine if they could be modified or converted into a health care facility to meet the needs of the state. We also assessed the facilities to see if they met the medical requirements for either COVID or non-COVID patient care,” said Sargent. USACE, as the federal government’s lead agency for public works and engineering, and given its extensive work and experience in building medical facilities for its military stakeholders, it is uniquely qualified to tackle this major engineering challenge. The Fort Worth District holds public safety as its top priority and continues to assist the state of Texas and the nation in this time of crisis to the very best of its capabilities. n
DISTRICT EMPLOYEES ENLISTED FOR COVID-19 MODELING TASK FORCE BY BREE ANA HARRIS, Galveston District
ccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the first confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case in the United States was reported on Jan. 21, 2020. In late February, transmission of COVID-19 within the United
States rapidly increased. During mid-March, when transmission of the virus was widespread, Rick Vera, chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Galveston District’s Geospatial Branch, received a call from the commander of the Army Geospatial Center in Alexandria,