California is opening temporary field hospitals to help with overflow patients as COVID-19 surges fill intensive care units across the state.
The field hospitals will care for non-ICU patients in places such as Costa Mesa, Porterville, Sacramento and Imperial; other facilities are on standby status in Riverside, Richmond, Fresno, San Diego and San Francisco.
On Tuesday, the California Department of Public Health said available ICU capacity in Southern California was just 1.7%, down from 2.7% a day earlier. The situation was particularly grim in Riverside County, which was at zero available ICU capacity as of Tuesday. Available ICU capacity in the San Joaquin Valley was also effectively maxed out and has been fluctuating between zero and 1.6% since Saturday.
Medical authorities across the state expect the situation to worsen before it gets better, as more people infected during the Thanksgiving holiday fall ill. The hope is that the state stay-at-home order will eventually turn the tide, but it’s expected it will take until Christmas or New Year’s before the inexorable rise in daily coronavirus cases flattens or begins to decrease.
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