May 30, 2020
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CHICAGO — A massive new makeshift hospital in the city’s largest convention center could be ready this week to handle COVID-19 cases.

McCormick Place, which is normally a bustling hive of activity with conventions, currently sits dormant but soon it will be reactivated into an entirely different role.

About 30 Illinois Air National Guards were deployed under a directive from Gov. JB Pritzker. They are preparing the convention center by putting in wheelchairs, humidifiers and getting the area ready for what could be a surge of COVID-19 cases. 

The hospital will have 3,000 beds and Pritzker said the first 500 could be ready this week. 

About 10 airmen each have been activated from the 126th Air Refueling Wing, 183rd Wing and the 182nd Airlift Wing. They arrived Monday and are mission critical mode.