SANTA CLARA, Calif (KTVU) - The City of Santa Clara is one of eight cities in California that will be home to a federal medical station to treat patients that are not in critical need of care.
Officials feel it’s prudent to prepare for a possible influx of COVID-19 patients as there's been an increase in testing. They want to be able to free-up hospital space quickly, by moving less seriously ill patients to another location where they can still receive high-level care.
Representatives from various federal, state, county, and city agencies spent part of the day on Monday touring the Santa Clara City Convention Center. The 34-year-old structure offers 262,000 square feet of meeting space. But soon it’ll be transformed into a federal medical station.
“Once this is operational, it’ll allow us to care for sub-acute patients or those who have lower acuity of need, which will allow the hospitals to care for higher acuity patients,” said the county's EMS Deputy Chief Michael Clark.
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb, officials are taking proactive steps to prevent area hospitals from being overburdened. Currently, Santa Clara County has a total of 2,500 hospital beds. Officials say 400 of those are pediatric beds, and 350 are intensive care unit beds. There are plans to convert 290 more beds for ICU use.
“Something like an urgent care but obviously patients would be able to remain there should they need to. It would be patients who are not requiring ICU level care. So basically normal care that is provided in the hospital, so that we can keep the hospital and the ICU for the really sick people,” said Dr. Runjhun Misra, an internal medicine specialist.
County officials said 250 beds will be set up inside the convention center in the coming days, along with necessary support equipment.
“We would be bring in the beds, the pharmaceutical needs, the oxygen; things we would need to care for 250 people, for a short term duration of care,” said Clark.