The state of Maryland identified its first case of COVID-19 on March 5, 2020. The Baltimore Convention Center (BCCFH) quickly became a selected location to set up a 250-bed inpatient Field Hospital and Alternate Care Site. In contrast to other field hospitals throughout the United States, the BCCFH remained open throughout the pandemic and took on additional COVID-19 missions, including community SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing, monoclonal antibody infusions for COVID-19 outpatients, and community COVID-19 vaccinations. At the time of publication, the BCCFH had cared for 1,478 COVID-19 inpatients, performed 108,155 COVID-19 tests, infused 2,166 COVID-19 patients, and administered 115,169 doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
To prevent the spread of pathogens during operations, infection prevention and control guidelines were essential to ensure the safety of staff and patients. Through multi-agency collaboration, utilization of infection prevention best practices, and answering what we describe as “PPE-ESP”, an operational framework was established to reduce infection risks for those providing or receiving care at the BCCFH during the COVID-19 pandemic.