California turns to vacant hospitals, hotels to prep for surge of COVID-19 patients

California is preparing for worst-case scenarios resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, and its hospitals are bracing for a huge influx of patients, according to NBC Los Angeles.

At a news conference March 17, Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the 415 hospitals in the state have about 88,000 beds. Health officials ran models to determine if the number of beds is sufficient for estimated hospitalizations and found that in the worst-case scenario, the state would be short 20,000 beds.

"So we had a very candid and a sober, if not sobering conversation, about where we may be and where we need to go together," the governor said, according to NBC Los Angeles.

To help manage a surge in hospitalized patients, California plans to buy two vacant hospitals. The acquisition could be complete as early as March 20, and the state plans on using money from the $1.1 billion in emergency funds approved by the state legislature on Monday to get the hospitals ready for use.

In addition, the state is negotiating with about 900 hotels to acquire rooms for patients needing hospitalization and for the homeless, a population particularly at risk of contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The governor also put the state's National Guard on alert for humanitarian missions during the COVID-19 crisis, such as helping with food distribution and public safety.

As of March 17, California had 472 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 11,750 people self-monitoring for the infection, according to the Los Angeles Times. Thirteen people have died.

More articles on patient flow:

Providence St. Joseph considers treating patients in tents amid coronavirus surge
New York hospital shuts down ORs after state inspection
Health systems tap surge tents to screen, treat COVID-19 patients




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