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Curve-Flattening RV Plan Has Uncertain Future

Man next to RV
Kuttner says this former steel mill site could house 7,000 people. (Photo: Hawes Spencer/VPM News)

As COVID-19 cases overwhelm hospitals in New York, one man in Central Virginia says he has a plan - and a property -  to quarantine thousands of people in RVs.

On the concrete slabs of a former 150-acre steel mill property outside Lynchburg, Oliver Kuttner wants to flatten the curve. He says, "You want to separate out the sick people. You want to give them a place to go."

Patients would be isolated in RVs, which could help caregivers limit their exposure. Kuttner says, "You check on somebody, you can bring them food without putting yourself in danger, which is what happens in a dormitory or in a hotel."

Kuttner says his plan would reduce transmission by isolating infected family members.

"If you leave them in the same house, they will get their relatives sick or their friends; or they get the kid sick, and the kid doesn't know and gets the neighbors sick," he says. The inventor estimates the plan would cost $80 million and require partnerships with health experts. State health officials say they're aware of Kuttner's proposal, but so far none have embraced it.

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