The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Washington State Department of Health (DOH), and the Yakima Health District announced today Astria Yakima Regional Center.hospital will be used to help support the state’s COVID-19 response.

Health official say the move represents the" strong partnership from all levels of government to bring capacity to the health care system to serve our communities during the COVID-19 response,

The facility was given the once over by the Seattle District,'s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and given the go ahead to open up for a specific use.

The hospital will help fight coronavirus by becoming the place to take non-COVID-19  patients in order to free up bed space at area hospitals treating positive cases of COVID-19.

About 80 personnel from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps will staff and operate the former St. E's,/Providence/Astria facility. Once fully operational, the site could support up to 250 hospital beds.

Don't expect to pop in and visit family and friends transferred there - Astria won't be open for walk-in visits by the general public.