California activates Palomar Medical Center federal medical station, as ICU capacity is limited

ESCONDIDO, California (KGTV) – California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state is activating the federal medical post at the Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, while the ICU bed capacity is limited in several regions.

It was not clear when the medical post could start accepting patients.

“We are bringing a fifth alternative care location with heated status, we are building that location, an FMS location, in San Diego,” Newsom said during an online news conference on Wednesday.


During a news conference on Wednesday, Chris Van Gorder, CEO of Scripps Health, said that San Diego County is not far from running out of ICU beds and that staff is a significant problem.

“The reality is that we are facing a significant situation here with our capacity and this is made worse because there in the summer, in the spring and in the summer, it was a regional and not a national situation. So we could start traveling nurses, we could get registered nurses, we could hire more nurses locally, “said Van Gorder.” Today, this is a national situation and we cannot recruit travelers, we cannot recruit registered nurses and, unfortunately, several of our healthcare providers are also getting sick ”.

Van Gorder said the county has 24 ICU beds available, out of about 670 available. He added that, as hospitals become full and resources are scarce, the type of care for those who need hospital care will change to crisis care.

The top two floors of the Escondido hospital were set up to serve as the SFM site. The site includes 202 beds that can be used for patients who do not require ICU care. The site can receive patients from other municipal hospitals that are overloaded, Dr. Omar Khawaja, medical director of Palomar Health, told ABC 10News earlier this month.

“They could be beds where we would unload some of the least sick patients from other systems so that they can deal with the most sick patients; we don’t have a solid plan for that yet, ”he said.

The cumulative capacity of California’s ICU beds reached 1.1% on Wednesday, with the Southern California region at 0%. Three other regions were also under regional requests to stay in the state’s home, activated after one region fell below 15% of the ICU’s capacity.

San Diego County reported 348 cases of coronavirus in the ICU on Wednesday and 2,598 additional cases of COVID-19.

Van Gorder said the county and hospitals project that hospitalizations will continue to grow and peak on January 10, 2021, with about 1,827 patients, and UTI cases will peak on January 11, with about 483 patients. .

“Today, the governor announced that the federal medical post at Palomar Medical Center will be activated. It is a developing situation. We will share more information as soon as we get it. But we are doing everything we can to deal with the impact of the transmission of COVID, but each of us now needs to do everything we can to impact the situation that our hospitals face, “said county supervisor Nathan Fletcher during the conference. press release on Wednesday.