SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — With Governor Gavin Newsom estimating the state may require an additional 50,000 hospital beds due to the coronavirus, San Francisco officials on Wednesday were trying figure out where some of those beds would come from.
“We need an additional 50,000 beds in our system.” Newsom explained during his coronavirus address Monday. “Our new modeling suggests 50,000 is the new target number.”READ MORE: COVID Reopening: Santa Clara County Indoor Dining, Gyms Open For 1st Time Since December After Shift To Red Tier
Each day, Newsom and his team try to make sense of new number received from all over the state, determining how many cases projections indicate officials should prepare to accommodate. From Seton Medical Center in Daly City to the Navy ship Mercy, Bay Area officials are trying to line beds up.
But the largest number of patient facilities will actually come from within the state’s hospitals, with a push to expand capacity by 30,000 beds. For some hospitals, that is as much as 40 percent.
“The hospitals already came with a surge plan of anywhere from 15 percent to 20 percent of their capacity,” Newsom explained. “They are doubling that surge plan now.”READ MORE: COVID: Swollen Lymph Nodes After Vaccination Could Lead To False Breast Cancer Diagnosis, UCSF Doctors Say
Taking into account unused buildings, converted floors and even parking lots, hospitals are now drawing up plans for where to add that additional capacity. They also have to keep packed hospitals from being overrun by the highly infectious virus.
“At this point, part of our service plan is, potentially, moving patients that are positive for COVID-19 or ruled out COVID-19 into different areas of the hospital,” said CPMC’s Senior Nursing Executive Jonathan Judy-Del Rosario. “To consolidate care, and to focus our resources that we need for those patients in certain areas of the hospital.”
The city of San Francisco is also looking for more space. Last week, KPIX 5 was told Bill Graham Civic Auditorium was evaluated and found to be not-so-great a fit. Currently, it remains a possibility. Several other spaces can be added to that list.
The city is looking at a number of piers on the San Francisco waterfront to see if they could house a large number of beds. One other possibility is the cruise ship terminal, now sitting quiet and unoccupied on the Embarcadero.MORE NEWS: Basketball Star Jeremy Lin Speaks Out About Attacks On Asian Americans, Racism On Court
How are the hospitals in San Francisco going to prepare? SF General Hospital has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday to address some of what will be done.