Santa Clara Convention Center Turning Into Hospital for COVID-19 Patients

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The South Bay is preparing for the surge in COVID-19 patients.

That surge is expected to arrive next week. Officials are transforming the Santa Clara Convention Center into makeshift hospital to help handle the influx of coronavirus patients.

Dr. Jennifer Tong is spearheading the county's hospital surge plans. On Friday, the 146th airlift unit of the National Guard spent 12 hours setting up the makeshift hospital.

"In between the major rows we would have nursing stations where charting can occur and have medical supplies they might need to provide care to the individuals here," Tong said.

The hospital will be for patients who are COVID-19 positive and need to stay quarantined, but are well enough to leave the hospital. Specifically, people that might not have a safe effective place to isolate for the rest of their ordered quarantine.

"This is not an acute setting," Tong said. "We would not have ventilated patients here.There are a set of medical supplies that come with this federal medical station."

The goal is to free up hospital beds for the sickest patients. Volunteer doctors and nurses from across the state will run this hospital. The patients here don't have to practice social distancing, since they will all be COVID-19 positive.

"We expect patients will might here for two, as many as three weeks, before they are safe to be around others," Tong said.

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