Temporary hospitals built at breakneck speed in US

Thousands are lining up for drive-thru testing sites, but the majority of people seeking tests can't get them.
2:42 | 03/19/20

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Transcript for Temporary hospitals built at breakneck speed in US
country. Word that some icus are near capacity, as the number of cases soars. And tonight, the doctors who say they do not have what they need. Here's ABC's chief national kroernlt Matt Gutman. Reporter: Tonight, one of the biggest expansions in hospital space in American history. From coast to coast, temporary hospitals being built at break-neck speed. This field unit for coronavirus patients under construction on a soccer field outside Seattle. In Florida, equipment for three mobile hospitals arriving. And this as emergency room officials fear being overrun when the virus peaks. We have patients who we suspect highly have covid, but have not been -- the testing is not completed, because the testing is taking so substantially too long. Our icus are already at capacity before this pandemic began and now we're pushing them over. Reporter: While thousands are lining up at drive-through testing sites like these in Texas and Georgia. So many seeking tests are unable to get them. I was sitting on the couch and my wife was in the kitchen and I almost passed out, just out of the blue. Reporter: 39-year-old Sacramento resident Justin Wilhite has been to the emergency room twice in the last eight days. Doctors tell him they are 100% certain he has the virus, but they told him tests are only for those in dire need. It was more frustrating for my life, because my wife wanted more definitive answers. Reporter: With officials in Los Angeles setting up this rv park as a possible quarantine site, doctors across the country now pleading with people to stay home. This physician in Atlanta holding up a sign saying -- "I stayed at work for you. You stay home for us!" Especially since some of those doctors on the front lines are especially vulnerable, too. I can't walk away from this pandemic while I'm needed. But that said, I have at least a ten fold higher mortality rate. Reporter: Some hospitals reporting a short supply of ventilators, doctors in other countries have rigged them so patients could share them, but haven't taken that measure yet. That is now being discussed as a last resort among health officials. We're exploring how to make that work. And that creativity is absolutely essential. Yeah, we need creativity, but we need them to be extraordinarily careful and I know they are considering everything. Sharing those ventilators, a worst case scenario, because there are risks with that, too. Reporter: There are, David. And that's because it's never before been tried on humans. Now, they can split those ventilators, but it requires skilled technicians to monitor the patients. There's also a concern that these patients are breathing the same air and could transmit diseases. And this is why doctors keep telling us to flatten the curve. So, hospitals don't have to get into these situations where they use these unprecedented measures. David? Matt Gutman tonight. Thank you, Matt.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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