AS California continues to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak, Governor Gavin Newsom said the state is slated to add 50,000 new hospital beds.
The state this week has secured 4,613 additional beds at alternate care sites and shuttered hospitals to anticipate the surge in COVID-19 patients, Newsom said during a press briefing on Monday, April 6 in Sacramento.
At least 60% of the additional beds will come from within existing hospitals, while the state will secure the remaining number. The state’s current bed capacity is 75,000.
“California has been working closely with hospitals to aggressively expand our state’s ability to treat the coming surge in COVID-19 patients,” Newsom said. “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. 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. All of these efforts will only pay off if we continue to slow the spread of the virus. Staying home will save lives.”
The former Sleep Train Arena, now known as Natomas Arena, in Sacramento is one of several alternate care sites that will provide care for less sick patients, thus allowing hospitals to focus their resources on those with the most acute needs. 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 former 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.
Alternate care sites will be staffed using a number of resources, including the newly established California Health Corps. The Health Corps is made up of health care providers, behavioral health professionals, and health care administrators who sign up to work at alternate care sites. They will add to the existing state health care workforce with underutilized and underemployed professionals, and with qualified student, retiree, and out-of-state health care providers.
In addition, the state has leased two hospitals and received a naval medical ship from the federal government as surge facilities:
• Seton Medical Center in Daly City, which has a maximum capacity of 220 beds;
• St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles, which has a maximum capacity of 266 beds; and
• USNS Mercy, which has an easily-accessible maximum capacity of up to 550 beds. (Note: USNS Mercy has a capacity of 1,000 bunk beds).
The California Department of Public Health reported 14,336 total cases on Monday, with 343 fatalities. The majority of the cases (7,099) are between the ages of 18 to 49, followed by 50 to 64. Of the confirmed cases, 2,509 have required hospitalization, with 1,085 in the intensive care unit.
As of Sunday, around 143,800 tests have been conducted across the state. (AJPress)