An alternative care site to relieve area hospitals is now set up in the Fresno Convention Center. The site will initially be used for non-COVID-19 related cases but that could change, said Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vorha.
In a large room typically used for celebratory banquets, there are now 250 foldable hospital beds lined up in rows with empty chairs next to them.
The site is prepared to take care of COVID-19 patients, but will first house patients with non-escalating medical conditions.
“We aren’t tying ourselves to any plan,” said Vorha. “I think it would be unwise to not stay flexible at this point and to really keep all options on the table.” He added the alternative care site should not be confused with a hospital.
“We’re not, unfortunately, able to provide a full service hospital here but this will be a way for us to decompress and also amend and add to the capacities of our local hospital,” he said.
Vorha says the site will not be filled overnight but rather used as a last resort for the region's COVID-19 response. In the meantime, the facility will serve as a storage unit for the 250 beds that will be issued to hospitals in the San Joaquin Valley as needed.