A facility leased by the state to provide extra space for treating COVID-19 cases has been decommissioned.

The facility located at the Western Memory Care Center on Patterson Road, formerly the Welbrook Transitional Rehabilitation Center building, was leased by the state of Colorado in the spring and decommissioned this month.

“We decommissioned it because what we’re seeing with the models and the cases is that the hospitals have the capacity to treat the patients and that changes in medical care are allowing patients to be treated faster and without the need of ventilators,” Strategic Communications Director for the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Micki Trost said.

The facility was classified as a tier 2.5 site, Trost said, with around 25 beds. The intent of the site was to treat coronavirus cases that emerged from a long-term care facility. However, there has only been one outbreak in an assisted living facility, which happened over the summer. The facility was not used to treat any patients.

“I believe there were 25 beds and we would have utilized that if a long-term care facility had an outbreak,” Trost said. “So it would be very specific to bringing long-term care facility individuals who were COVID positive to take them out of their facility.”

With the decommissioning of the Grand Junction facility, along with another facility on the Front Range, Colorado now has three alternative care sites. Trost said the state would save money by decommissioning those sites and that the local hospitals were equipped to handle COVID-19 cases.

“We are able to save the leasing cost and we are moving the equipment that was there back to the Colorado Convention Center,” Trost said. “We also decommissioned another facility that was at the Ranch in Loveland for the same reason.”

The Western Memory Care Center has been fully decommissioned and turned back over to its owner, according to Grand Junction Fire Department Deputy Chief Gus Hendricks.

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