FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Less-acute COVID-19 patients now receiving care in one of California's first active Field Respite Centers
April 5, 2020
Santa Clara County, CA – One of California's first active Field Respite Centers (FRC) developed to serve people infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) started serving patients, with two arriving today.
Located at the Santa Clara Convention Center and operated via a state of California contract, this facility was provided to our county by the state and federal government to increase the area's healthcare capacity to meet the needs of all residents diagnosed with COVID-19.
"Our County's decision to be proactive from the onset of this crisis has ensured that we have leveraged important resources like the FRC before the need is significant," said Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. "Today's patients will have the ability to recuperate in a safe setting while still sheltering in place – keeping all of our residents and essential workers protected. Our County continues to look to local partners as well as state and federal resources to help fight COVID-19."
The FRC has been converted and outfitted with beds, supplies and medicines delivered by the National Guard, and has the capacity to serve up to 250 people who have less-acute COVID-19 symptoms. This will enable area hospitals to maintain their capacity to treat patients requiring hospitalization.
"Utilizing the Convention Center as a Field Respite Center backstops hospitals and other care providers preparing for a surge in COVID-19 cases," said Dr. Jennifer Tong, the Branch Director for the Health Care Surge team within the County Emergency Operations Center. "This is another important tool that we now can use in our fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives."
The FRC increases the healthcare capacity of areas faced with public health emergencies. Designed for rapid deployment, the FRC at the Convention Center is a key component of the County's medical surge planning and preparation. The state of California is the lead agency for the FRC.
Patients will be admitted via referral from other facilities – there will be no walk-up services available.
Santa Clara County is also working with businesses such as hotels to establish additional care locations and options for vulnerable populations, with sites secured in San Jose, Santa Clara and Gilroy to shelter and isolate homeless individuals.
"We are exploring every possible option in order to make sure all of our community members can receive care during the COVID-19 crisis," said Dr. Jeffrey V. Smith, County Executive. "But we can't do it alone. We need everyone to follow the stay-at-home order if we are going to flatten the curve and keep our community safe."
Health officials in seven Bay Area jurisdictions, including the County of Santa Clara, issued a new stay-at-home order with stricter social distancing guidelines on March 31. The new order runs through May 3, 2020.
For more information about COVID-19 activities in Santa Clara County visit http://www.sccphd.org/coronavirus.
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