Riverside County health and emergency management officials received a federal medical station (FMS) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help ease the burden from an expected surge in COVID-19 cases. The station will provide an additional 250 beds to the county’s overall hospital system.
“We know we’ll have more cases and some of them will be serious,” 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.”
Starting today, March 25, the California National Guard will be at the fairgrounds in Indio to set up a portion of the FMS in an existing building. They will not be performing any law enforcement activities.
The FMS includes all the equipment to run a basic hospital, including beds, portable sinks, medication, N95 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 in existing buildings at the county fairgrounds in Indio.
“I am proud our Riverside County Fairgrounds will aid in this critical mission of providing a venue for health care,” Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez said. 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, allowing 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.