California Opening Field Hospitals

January 4, 2021

Unfortunately, we’ve seen this all before.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, hospitals in several cities – including New York City and Chicago – opened field hospitals to deal with the rapidly growing numbers of patients with COVID-19 seeking treatment for the illness. Now, a growing number of hospitals are taking similar steps. Rhode Island recently opened its two field hospitals as COVID-19 hospitalizations near an all-time high. Now it’s California’s turn.

California recently opened temporary field hospitals to help with overflow patients as COVID-19 surges fill intensive care units across the state, according to the Los Angeles Times. The field hospitals will care for non-ICU patients in places such as Costa Mesa, Porterville, Sacramento and Imperial. Other facilities are on standby status in Riverside, Richmond, Fresno, San Diego and San Francisco.

The situation was particularly grim in Riverside County, which recently was at zero available ICU capacity. Available ICU capacity in the San Joaquin Valley was also effectively maxed out and has been fluctuating between zero and 1.6 percent. Medical authorities across the state expect the situation to worsen before it gets better, as more people infected during the holidays fall ill.

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