San Mateo County Prepares For Surge in Coronavirus Patients

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San Mateo County is equipping a makeshift field hospital and expressing a critical need for more supplies as it prepares for a projected surge of coronavirus patients.

The San Mateo County Event Center in San Mateo has been converted into a 250-bed field hospital that will house coronavirus patients who have lesser needs than intensive care patients, the county said.

A National Guard unit on Sunday delivered supplies and equipment to the event center. No patients will be immediately housed at the field hospital, but the county wanted to be ready when the need for more medical treatment space arises.

“The latest projections estimate that a medical surge could push the hospitals in our county to capacity, and we’ll need another location to house patients requiring particular levels of care,” County Manager Mike Callagy said in a statement. “We can’t just wait to see if this will happen. We need to prepare now so that we can be ready to care for our friends, neighbors and loved ones when they need it most.”

Meanwhile, the county Board of Supervisors expressed concern about the need for more staff and personal protective equipment, especially at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, which was recently leased by the state to care for COVID-19 patients.

Public health officials said the county is down to five ICU beds out of 66.

Public Health chief Louise Rogers said there are 309 coronavirus cases in the county, with 70 more people under investigation for the virus. There have been 10 deaths, she said.

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