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Newsom: California Is Lending 500 Ventilators To States In Need

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California Gov. Newsom announced on Monday that 500 ventilators from California's cache would be sent to the national stockpile to be distributed immediately to states in need, including New York, where the coronavirus outbreak has been most severe.

Newsom delivered his daily briefing on the coronavirus outbreak from the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, one of several sites in the state that he said have been procured to hold additional medical beds. You can watch the full briefing below.

Here are some main takeaways from his briefing:

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VENTILATORS

California hospitals today have an inventory of 11,036 ventilators, a jump from their original estimate of 7,587 ventilators. That increase is due to old ventilators being refurbished and made available for use, as well as the acquisition of new ventilators.

These numbers gave the state the confidence to be able to loan out 500 ventilators to the national stockpile, Newsom said. As part of the national stockpile, ventilators can be redeployed as needed based on changing conditions in states around the nation, he added.

Asked what would happen if California needs those 500 ventilators back, Newsom said, "If we need them back in a few weeks, we'll get them back. They're conditioned on changing conditions in the state."

Another 1,000 ventilators have been refurbished and are being made available to hospitals again soon, Newsom said. And another 1,000 ventilators are currently being refurbished.

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EMERGENCY BEDS

California has locked in a number of sites that will hold a total of 4,613 emergency hospital beds, Newsom said, but the state is still looking to procure a total of 20,000 beds across the state to help hospitals manage a coming influx of patients. The Sleep Train Arena, where the Sacramento Kings have played, has the capacity to hold 400 beds and can start accepting patients as early as April 20, he said.

Other sites the state has procured include:

  • St. Vincent Hospital in Los Angeles (operational on Monday, April 13): 266 beds
  • Seton Medical Center in Daly City: 220 beds
  • USNS Mercy, the hospital ship docked at the Port of L.A.: 550 beds
  • Fairview Developmental Center: 520 beds
  • Porterville Developmental Center: 246 beds
  • Fairfield Hotel in San Carlos: 120 beds

Additionally, the governor said that medical stations that are being supported by the federal government have a capacity to hold another 2,000 beds. Five of those stations have been confirmed and are being set up with supplies, Newsom said, and the government is working on setting up an additional three.
The state has also identified an additional 5,005 beds and is working on locking them down, he added.

Broader context: Under Phase One of California's preparation plan for the coronavirus outbreak, which covers prep through the month of April, Newsom said the goal was to make 50,000 more beds available than what is currently offered by the hospital system.

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Across the state, there are some 75,000 beds in 416 hospitals — hospitals have already been asked to prepare for a 40% increase in beds, so that accounts for 30,000 of those beds. (Newsom also mentioned that hospitals have estimated they would be able to provide a few thousand more beds than the original 40% surge goal.) The state would take care of procuring the additional 20,000 with help from local officials.

MORE THAN 14,000 COVID-19 CASES IN CALIFORNIA

Here are the latest COVID-19 numbers Newsom gave for California on Monday:

  • Total cases: 14,336 (an increase of 6.7% from Sunday)
  • Hospitalizations: 2,509 (a 4.6% increase from Sunday)
  • 1,085 people in ICUs (a 4.3% increase from Sunday)
  • 343 deaths

MORE THAN 81,000 MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS HAVE SIGNED UP FOR THE HEALTH CORPS

California has received 81,879 applications for the state's Health Corps, the state initiative to expand the emergency medical workforce for the pandemic. That trounces the state government's original expectation of 37,000 applications, Newsom said.

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NO INDICATION YET THAT THE VIRUS IS SEASONAL

"We've heard people speculate about the seasonality of this virus, but it's too early based upon the information that we have to make any determinations around that speculation," Newsom said. He added that while California was "hopeful" that it would be seasonal — and thus, die down in the warm summer months — "by no stretch of the imagination does that change our modeling."

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