Riverside County health and emergency management officials received a federal medical station (FMS) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The California National Guard is at the fairgrounds in Indio to set up a portion of the FMS in an existing building. The California National Guard will not perform any law enforcement activities. The station will provide an additional 250 beds to the county’s overall hospital system, which will ease the burden from an expected surge in COVID-19 cases.
“We know we’ll have more cases and some of them will be serious,” said Riverside County Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser. “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. This includes beds, bed sheets, portable sinks, medication and 740 complete units of personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, gowns and face shields. These 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 in Indio, in existing buildings on the fairgrounds. The remaining materials will be used to set up an identical 125 bed facility in western Riverside County. The site for the western location will be shared soon.
“I am proud our Riverside County Fairgrounds will aid in this critical mission of providing a venue for health care,” said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. I want to thank Congressman Ruiz as well as Assemblymembers Garcia and Mayes for their ongoing support and for ensuring that the federal medical station is established in the Coachella Valley and western Riverside County.”
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 continues to plan for the operation of the FMS, including meeting site requirements for the equipment and locating approximately 80 personnel to work in the two locations.