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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Samaritan's Purse To Build Field Hospital In North Carolina

LENOIR, N.C. (AP) — A humanitarian group is building a 30-bed field hospital to help treat COVID-19 patients in western North Carolina.

Samaritan's Purse, which is led by the Rev. Franklin Graham, said construction on the field hospital will begin Friday on the grounds of UNC Caldwell Health Care in Lenoir.

The Raleigh News & Observer reports that officials expect the hospital to take 48 hours to construct and will be ready to treat patients next week. The temporary facility will be used to treat patients from five health systems. They are Caldwell UNC, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System in Boone, Carolinas Healthcare System Blue Ridge in Morganton and Catawba Valley Health System and Frye Regional Medical Center, which are both in Hickory.

UNC spokesman Phil Bridges told the newspaper that the number of COVID-19 patients has spiked in the region.