INDIO (CBSLA) — A temporary hospital will soon be set up at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the county said Tuesday.
The federal medical station is one of two that Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday had arrived in California. Ultimately, Newsom said, another half dozen are expected — adding an estimated 2,000 hospital beds.
The county said the California National Guard will begin setting up a portion of the federal medical station in an existing building on Wednesday. The county said the California National Guard would not perform any law enforcement activities.
The federal medical station includes all equipment needed for a hospital — beds, bed sheets, portable sinks, medication and 740 complete units of personal protective equipment, including N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, gowns and face shields.
“The county continues to plan for the operation of the FMS, including meeting site requirements for the equipment and locating approximately 80 personnel to work in the two locations,” a county release said.
Half of the materials will be used to set up a station the county fairgrounds in Indio, in existing buildings on the fairgrounds.
The remaining materials will be used to set up an identical 125 bed facility in western Riverside County. The site for the secondary location was not immediately disclosed.
Once the stations are operational, Riverside County hospitals will transfer stable, less severe patients to them — allowing existing hospitals increased capacity to respond to the needs of more critical patients.
“We know we’ll have more cases and some of them will be serious,” Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said. “This medical station will relieve stress from our hospitals, allowing them to better provide higher levels of care for our sickest individuals, and get more people on the way to recovery faster.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 59 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Riverside County, with 28 in the Coachella Valley. Six people have died from complications associated with the disease — all in the Coachella Valley.