By DONNA BALANCIA
California Gov. Gavin Newsom talked multiple phases towards recovery and unification to fight COVID-19 on Monday during his briefing. He said the State would enlist the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento for additional bed space.
Newsom also discussed the work of California companies and the role they play in helping during the emergency and subsequently getting the economy back on its feet.
There is a preparation plan in place for a surge in Coronavirus-related illnesses and that would be proceeed in phases. Phase 1 includes procuring 50,000 beds for healthcare. It involves preparing for acute care at hospitals and working with private industry for more bed space.
He anticipates acute care at hospitals to require and surge to at least 30,000 beds, that need will be supported with personnel with Health Corps support.
“But they believe they can do additional beds,” he said referring to healthcare officials. The state continues to work with private industry to procure more sites. Seton Hospital and St. Vincent are examples of procuring hundreds of beds, and taking hospitals the were no longer functioning and getting them up to speed. There is also the USNS Mercy that will provide for the cause. He said the hospital side is locked in.
On the alternative side, the Sleeptrain Arena would account for 400 beds, Newsom said.
Care would continue also including at Fairview, Porterville and hotel rooms. There are the medical stations that come from the federal government 2,000 beds through the MFS program. Those sites are locked and unloaded and preparing to go into action. Three additional sites, in addition to the five done already are in Shasta and Butte County and San Diego County, and there is a site in Fresno. Those eight sites and hospitals and alternative care sites 4,613 beds locked down. Newsom is still seeking to hit 20.000 number.
Phase 1 includes looking at the models on Coronavirus through April and finding 50,000 beds for mild and moderate patients and discharges. He said Phase 2 would commence if and when the number of 50,000 is surpassed and said it would kick in if we entered into May and still needed that many beds or more.
Personnel is needed
The number of applicants to the Health Corps at the time he spoke is 81,879, those are people who have filled out a formal application on the site, he said. “That will supply the surge capacity,” he said.
Newsom added: “We started on this journey in January with repatriation flights that came back into the United States through the state of California for people in mainland China. American citizens, we brought them onto Air Force bases in the State of California started the relationship with the Federal Government, the CDC and respective agencies. That generated a lot of attention and obviously that raised alarm bells for the State of California we needed to prepare, not only for the needs of those being reptraiated, but to process and focus on preparing for COVID-19 and the prospect that this virus was going to spread.”
In making his briefing, Newsom sent a message of unification saying “We are Americans, first and foremost.”
He continued to lay out his plan, he said companies are making garments, PPE and ventilators and he looked ahead to economic recovery.
“We continue to do everything in our power and build out that inventory,” he said. “You need the place, the people and the protective gear and meet surge expectations in our modelling.”
California has been busy going to work manufacturing garments and PPE and ventilators as well. Newsom said the state was in possession of 1,000 refurbished ventilators.
As California seems to have a surplus of ventilators as per the computer model forecast, Newsom said California is able to send 500 ventilators for dispersement.
“One of the reasons we felt more confident in our ability to extend a hand and send them back East is because The hospitals themselves who had an invetory of 7587 today currently have 11,036 vents,” Newsom said. “That son the basis of refurbishing old vents and procuring new vents, that has put less pressure on the state’s procurement of ventilators.”
The state is working with Virgin Orbit in trying to be innovative. He added that Bloom Energy was the producer of the 1,000 refurbished ventilators.
Newsom said 14,336 is the total number of people testing positive and 1,085 people in ICUs, 2,509 hospitalizations, representing a 4 percent increase over Sunday. There were 343 lives lost to the virus, Newsom said.
When asked by a pool reporter what convinced him to send ventilators to help other parts of the country, Newsom responded by saying it was the “ethical” and “moral” responsibility to provide resources to those most in need. Newsom added that the ventilators have been “lent” not given away, and if needed California can get them back.
He said the state worked with Bob Fenton the California regional director of FEMA on dispersement. Newsom said that California needs to respond to the request to help because “We can punch above our weight class.”
Newsom said that physical distancing is working and is enabling the needed time to gather the needed equipment. For more information go to serve.ca.gov to help out if possible.