While several teams have quickly set up COVID-19–related field hospitals in convention centers and places of public assembly—considered the low-hanging fruit of alternative sites for coronavirus surge beds—others are working behind the scenes on longer lead time retrofits and conversions for hospitals, hotels and dormitories. Many of these are aimed at increasing the supply of coronavirus patient intensive care units and airborne infection isolation rooms, with the goal of protecting health care workers from getting sick.

For the retrofits and conversions, health care architects and engineers are seeking the best ways to quickly design code-compliant and safe ICU and airborne infection isolation rooms, suites or wards, in a time of changing intelligence about virus transmission. The main reason for AII, rather than ICU-only rooms, is to keep health care personnel from contracting COVID-19.

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