Riverside County health and emergency management officials received a federal medical station from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Wednesday morning, the California National Guard will be at the fairgrounds in Indio to set up a portion of the FMS in an existing building.
According to a Tuesday news release from Riverside University Health System, once the medical station is up and running, it should provide an additional 250 beds to the county’s overall hospital system, easing the burden from an expected surge in COVID-19 cases. The news release noted that members of the California National Guard will not be performing any law enforcement activities.
Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser said: “This medical station will relieve stress from our hospitals, allowing them to better provide higher levels of care for our sickest individuals, and get more people on the way to recovery faster.”
The FMS includes all the equipment to run a basic hospital including beds, portable sinks, medication and personal protective equipment. The materials will be set up in two existing buildings to create two stations that will care for less acute patients.
Half of the materials will be used to set up a station the county fairgrounds, and half will be used to set up an identical facility in western Riverside County. The site for the western location was not disclosed. Riverside County hospitals will move stable, less severe patients to the federal medical station locations.
This will allow greater capacity in the county’s existing hospitals to respond to the needs of more critical patients. The county is now planning for the operation of the FMS, including locating approximately 80 personnel to work in the two locations.