Hennepin County commissioners hearing details Thursday of the gala that will surround the Super Bowl also found themselves tackling a potential hazard — people having too much fun.
A Super Bowl subcommittee with hospital representation on it asked the County Board for additional funding to cover the potential need for extra detox services, especially if the weather is very cold and with later bar closing times.
And with the recent surge in flu cases, the subcommittee fears a shortage of beds in emergency rooms.
Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown Minneapolis averages about 12 detox patients a night, while other area hospitals average two to five such patients, the subcommittee said. The three detox centers in the Twin Cities have a total of 91 beds.
Each year, all three facilities handle more than 9,000 total admissions.
The board has a $380,000 Super Bowl contingency fund for county-related security issues, including resolving the possible detox service issue. Commissioners considered both financial actions and others that wouldn’t have funding ramifications.
The board agreed to consider increased staffing to maximize patient flow and to move detox clients committed by courts to different locations.
The board also authorized buying 15 beds from Ramsey County during a 10-day period surrounding the Super Bowl. If needed, that plan, which would cost $50,000, would require the county administrator to return to the board before implementation.