In yet another example of the coronavirus pandemic forcing a country to repurpose a sports facility to better tackle the disease, Germany is using Borussia Dortmund's stadium to help out with the country's efforts. Signal Iduna Park is being turned into a coronavirus testing facility, the club announced in a statement Friday.
The club said that they are specifically renovating the northern stands of the stadium and working with the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Westfalen-Lippe (KVWL), a German health insurance association. There, patients can be treated on an outpatient basis, with a doctor determining whether further COVID-19 treatment is necessary, and also receive disability certificates (if necessary) and prescriptions.
"Our stadium is the figurehead of the city, a fixed point for almost everyone in Dortmund and the surrounding area and, thanks to its technical, infrastructural and spatial conditions, the ideal place to actively help people who are potentially infected or over-infected by the coronavirus complaints such as respiratory diseases and fever. It is our duty and our desire to do everything in our power to help these people," said CEO of Borussia Dortmund, Hans-Joachim Watzke. "In the KVWL we have a perfect partner at our side to lead this fight successfully"
In the United States, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is being converted to serve as supplementary space for local New York City hospitals to help alleviate the crowded medical centers in the city. Other countries around the world have also turned to stadiums to help with coronavirus treatment including Brazil, Peru and Wales.