SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Governor Newsom is promising to bring thousands of additional hospital beds to California to prepare for coronavirus patients.
Jan Emerson-Shay, with the California Hospital Association, said we are in an unprecedented situation. She says hospitals are in “unchartered waters” as they prepare for the surge expected in the next week to 10 days.
“We are thinking about how we can free up the physical space, but making sure we have enough equipment and frankly, enough people,” Emerson-Shay said.
California has 75,000 licensed beds across 416 hospitals in the state.
Hospitals are preparing for what’s called the “surge plan” to provide 30,000 more beds across the system.
“We haven’t been waiting, we have been preparing, and I could not be more pleased and proud of our hospital system themselves,” said Governor Gavin Newsom.
Newsom says existing facilities will house additional beds in outbuildings, parking lots and tents outside hospitals.
UC Davis Medical Center is preparing to bring in three mobile field hospital tents. They will convert other parts of the medical center into a care center for patients.
But Emerson-Shay says there’s no directive from the governor just yet about where else these mobile hospitals will be set up in the Sacramento area.
She calls them a crucial piece of this puzzle.
“We’re very anxious to see where those will be located and get them up and running quickly,” said Emerson-Shay.
The state is also loosening regulations to bring in doctors from across state lines.
“We’re looking to bring in recently retired clinicians in the workforce who are able and willing to come into the workforce,” Emerson-Shay said. “This is what hospitals do. This is why people go into healthcare as a profession.”