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California Expands Healthcare Capacity Before Anticipated COVID-19 Peak

By California Chronic Care Coalition

April 7, 2020

In Gov. Newsom’s latest press update, he shared important developments of the state of COVID-19 in California.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Ventilators: California will be lending 500 ventilators to the national stockpile to be deployed to the states that urgently need them the most. This is on the condition that if the state of the outbreak in California worsens and there is a need, we will get ventilators back. Currently, the state has a total of 11,036 ventilators that will serve Californians needs as it stands. Gov. Newsom expects that we will receive an additional 500 by Wednesday.
  • Flattening the curve: Gov. Newsom said that efforts to flatten the curve are working, pushing the peak use of resources back, and enabling the state to build up ICU and hospital capacity before the peak number of cases hits. Efforts to build up resources are on schedule as California works to support the healthcare system. Newsom urged Californians to continue to practice diligent social distancing and to stay at home.
  • Increasing capacity: Phase 1 of the state’s COVID-19 response was the focus of today’s press conference, which is concentrated on procurement of essential resources including increasing care capacity by 50,000 beds. Phase 1 will continue through month of April and will work on increasing “place, people, and PPE (personal protective equipment)”.  
  • Sleep Train Arena: The press conference today took place at Sleep Train Arena in Natomas, which is being repurposed as a care facility and is expected to be ready to accept patients by April 20th. This repurposing will add 400 beds for patients who are being discharged from hospitals with mild to moderate symptoms while hospitals aid the acutely ill.
  • Seasonality: In response to concerns that the virus may come back in the fall and that the state may need to stockpile supplies, Newsom said “We’re not hoarding anything. We’re providing support as we can, and to the extent … we feel our needs are met, we will share those with people all across the country”. The governor continued, saying that we are “Americans first and foremost. We happen to have 40 million Americans live in the great state of California.” Regarding the possibility the virus recedes in warmer months, he said that it’s too early based upon information that we have to make any determinations.
  • Antibody Test: Gov. Newsom described the Stanford homegrown serology test as foundational and fundamental to California’s ongoing response and getting people back to work. The test had been administered to over 3,200 people to check for COVID-19 antibodies, and could give valuable insight into the severity of the illness for the population. Results could be published as soon as later this week.
  • Relationships: Gov. Newsom said that California is continuing federal, county, state, and private partnerships, including working with Kaiser Permanente and Dignity Health in southern California to establish a Los Angeles Surge Hospital.
  • By the numbers: – California has a total of 14,336 confirmed cases, with 2,509 people hospitalized, 1,085 in ICU, and tragically 343 lives lost. 131,000 tests have been administered.
  • California Health Corps: The total health care professionals who have signed up for the California Health Corps now exceeds 80,000.
  • To help: Visit Serve.ca.gov to volunteer for services that help vulnerable Californians, like delivering meals to the elderly or participating in food banks. Visit COVID19supplies.ca.gov to contribute to the state’s medical supplies with masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and more.