In Porterville, hospital close to next phase of COVID surge plan and state surge site reactivated

As the 4th of July approaches, experts have a strong request for the public: Wear masks and do not gather.
VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- An influx of patients now has Sierra View Medical Center less than ten beds away from moving into phase two of their COVID-19 surge plan, which would bring beds to conference rooms inside the hospital.

"Generally I'm down around 4 or 5 o' clock every day to about eight or nine beds in the hospital that are left for the night shift until we come in the next day," said SVMC Chief Nurse Executive Dr. Jeffery Hudson-Covolo. "And so that has been problematic and therefore we put those conference rooms into play, so that we can expand when we need to."

The hospital is also expanding their transfer agreement with Valley Children's Hospital, now transferring any pediatric patient under the age of 14.

As COVID makes a comeback, Hudson-Covolo says the focus has to be on keeping beds available for adult patients.

As the 4th of July approaches, he has a strong request for the public: Wear masks and do not gather.

"In order for us to continue to provide good healthcare in this community, we need the community's help to slow the spread of the virus," Hudson-Covolo said.

Four miles away, the Porterville Developmental Center is being reactivated as a 50-bed state alternate care site.

It hasn't accepted any patients yet, but is ready to receive them from hospitals, or possibly, prisons.

"We'd rather have these facilities, and have them ready and sit empty, and hopefully we never need them," said Cal OES Spokesperson Brian Ferguson. "But we want to be ready to take every appropriate action to make sure we have the capacity to support local communities and our doctors and nurses."

The state's alternative care sites, which are being reactivated include:

Porterville Developmental Center with 50 operational beds (Maximum capacity 402)

Imperial Field Medical Site with 80 operational beds (Maximum capacity 125)

Seton Medical Center with 120 operational beds (Maximum capacity 220)

Fairview Developmental Center with 50 operational beds (Maximum capacity 760)
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