Shuttered Elgin hospital could reopen to treat coronavirus patients
The former Sherman Hospital in Elgin will be reopened to potentially accommodate patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, state leaders said Monday.
The 13.7-acre campus at 901 Center St., just north of downtown, includes three vacant buildings totaling 254,000 square feet. The governor's office didn't immediately respond to questions about the plan.
The Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency are working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to convert the former hospital into "an overflow facility for non-acute hospital patients," Elgin city officials said in a statement late Monday.
"The city's sources at the state level indicate that the Illinois Department of Public Health has not yet determined if this non-acute care facility will include COVID-19 patients," the statement said.
Work on the conversion has begun and it is expected to last at least two weeks, the city said.
The state and the city of Chicago also are working to create temporary facilities at the closed MetroSouth Hospital in Blue Island and temporarily convert part of the McCormick Place Convention Center into care for COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms, officials said during a news conference Monday.
"If we never have to go beyond our existing facilities, we will all be extremely happy," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.
Sherman, which later became part of Advocate Health, moved in 2009 to a new campus on Randall Road. The Center Street site held some physicians' offices until December 2018.
In 2010, the shuttered hospital served as a filming location for the film "Contagion." Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Matt Damon, the movie is a fictionalized account of a deadly pandemic spreading rapidly across the country.
The property was bought last year by 901 Center Street Holdings LLC, whose manager, Daniel Olswang, said he'd been in discussions with the governor's office for about two weeks. The state took over the property effective today, he said.
"I am glad we are giving back to the community. The state needs these hospital beds," he said. "This will save lives."