California Working to Expand Hospital Capacity in Preparation for COVID-19 Surge

Apr 7, 2020 | Health, News

S. E. Williams | Contributor

Sacramento, CA – On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced the state has already secured up to 4,613 additional beds to fight COVID-19 and relieve pressure on the state’s health care delivery system. The governor made the announcement while at a former basketball arena– Sleep Train Arena, now known as Natomas Arena, in Sacramento which is in the process of being transformed into an alternate care site.

   Eight federal medical stations are being set up across the state and the governor has leased and reopened two recently shuttered hospitals to accommodate patient overflow. 

   These facilities are in addition to the added capacity made available with the recent arrival of the USNS Mercy now docked near Los Angeles.

   California expects a surge in hospitalizations due to the anticipated increase in COVID-19 patients in the coming weeks. In preparation for this potential eventuality, Newsom is working aggressively to add 50,000 beds to our existing hospital capacity of nearly 75,000 beds. At least 60 percent of those additional beds, or specifically 30,000, will come from within existing hospitals, and the state will secure the remaining beds, up to 20,000.

   “California has been working closely with hospitals to aggressively expand our state’s ability to treat the coming surge in COVID-19 patients,” said Governor Newsom. “As a result, California is adding tens of thousands more hospital beds, sourcing and distributing lifesaving medical supplies and ventilators, and significantly expanding our health care workforce.”

   The state’s alternate care sites to date include eight federal medical stations operating or being set up across the state, each with a maximum of 250 beds; the Sleep Train Arena, which has a maximum capacity of 400 beds; Fairview Developmental Center, with a maximum capacity of 520 beds; Porterville Developmental Center, with a maximum capacity of 246 beds; San Carlos Hotel, with a maximum capacity of 120 beds; and CPMC – Pacific Campus, with a maximum capacity of 291 beds.

    “This is an all hands-on deck effort, and I am extremely grateful to all of our partners in the medical community, the private sector and across government for helping us get this far,” Newsom affirmed adding, “All of these efforts will only pay off if we continue to slow the spread of the virus. Staying home will save lives.”

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