One of California's first active COVID-19 coronavirus field respite centers, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, took in its first two patients Sunday, Santa Clara County officials said.
Operated through a contract with the state, this field respire center will increase the county's capacity to treat residents diagnosed with COVID-19.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg said in a statement that, "Today's patients will have the ability to recuperate in a safe setting while still sheltering in place (and) keeping all of our residents and essential workers protected." Santa Clara County, she said, will continue to look to local partners as well as state and federal resources to help treat COVID-19 patients.
The converted convention center has 250 beds, plus supplies and medicines delivered by the National Guard, to serve patients with less-acute COVID-19 symptoms. This will free up hospital beds to treat more seriously ill patients.
The converted convention center "backstops hospitals and other care providers preparing for a surge in COVID-19 cases," said Dr. Jennifer Tong, the Branch Director for the Health Care Surge team within the Santa Clara County Emergency Operations Center.
Patients will be admitted via referral from other facilities - there will be no walk-up services available.
Santa Clara County is also working with businesses such as hotels to establish additional care locations and options for vulnerable populations, with sites secured in San Jose, Santa Clara and Gilroy to shelter and isolate homeless individuals, health officials said in a statement.
"We are exploring every possible option in order to make sure all of our community members can receive care during the COVID-19 crisis," said Dr. Jeffrey V. Smith, Santa Clara County Executive.
For more information about COVID-19 activities in Santa Clara County, go to http://www.sccphd.org/coronavirus.