HumCo COVID Facebook
People unload supplies from a California Office of Emergency Services truck.
Construction has begun on an alternate care site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds that will be able to treat up to 100 non-critical patients in the event hospital capacity is overrun by a surge of COVID-19 cases.
According to a post on the HumCo COVID Facebook page, the Governor's Office of Emergency Services arrived Friday with with a large truck full of supplies to begin construction on the makeshift hospital. Deputy Health Officer Josh Ennis explained at a forum Thursday that local hospitals are scrambling to triple intensive care capacity, as well as overall bed space, while public health has identified a couple "alternate care sites" to erect temporary structures that will allow for the care of mildly ill patients, preserving hospital space for the critically ill.
"The Alternate Care Site will allow local hospitals to better utilize bed space, equipment and staff for the most in need, while continuing to provide care for those less seriously ill," the Facebook post states.
To date, Humboldt County has confirmed 53 positive COVID-19 cases locally, with 50 of them having since recovered and three total hospitalizations. Ennis presented two local projections models Thursday. One, premised on the idea the county would keep all social distancing orders in place through the end of the year, projected the county would see 28 COOVID-19 deaths by December, at which point 145 locals would be hospitalized, with 64 of them in intensive care and 38 breathing through ventilators. The other model, premised on the idea that Humboldt County would lift all social distancing restrictions May 1, projected 188 deaths by July, at which point there would be 976 people hospitalized, with 408 in intensive care and 251 breathing through ventilators.
As of yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control reported 865,585 COVID-19 cases nationally with 48,816 deaths, including 39,254 cases and 1,562 fatalities in California.