San Mateo County Event Center turns into emergency hospital; 10 deaths reported

The San Mateo County Event Center is turning into  a new emergency hospital in preparation for a surge of coronavirus patients.

No patients are actually staying at the Saratoga Drive center just yet; this area is being set up just in case they need extra space.

The concern is that a medical surge could push hospitals in the county to capacity so health officials wanted to prepare if and when that happens.

Supplies and equipment for this 250-bed field hospital arrived Sunday and the National Guard has been out there since helping state and county officials set up.

The National Guard will leave once the field hospital is finished.

The hospital will be run by the county and the state.

As of Tuesday morning, San Mateo County reported 309 positive cases of coronavirus and 10 deaths.

While the majority of people who contracted the virus were older than 30, the county's statistics showed at least 12 percent were 29 years old or younger. 

The county has the third highest positive case count in the Bay Area behind Santa Clara County and San Francisco. 

At an online meeting on Monday, Peninsula lawmakers talked about the federal response to the pandemic in San Mateo County and how seriously this needs to be taken

 "For those who think this is a hoax, lives are being lost every single day," Rep. Jackie Speier said in a Zoom conference call. "If you have party in your neighborhood and you think you’re fine that is not the case at all." 

The county is asking for donations to help support the event center. If anyone has unused N95 masks – unopened packages of disposable gloves – hand sanitizer – disinfectants or goggles – please drop them off Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Maple Street Correctional Facility in Redwood City.

Sara Zendehnam is a reporter forKTVU.  Email Sara at and follow her on Twitter@szendehnam