The Orange County Health Care Agency will deploy mobile field hospitals (MFHs) to local hospitals this week to support the Orange County (OC) health care system as it responds to a surge in COVID-19 patients. OC hospitals may receive emergency waivers from the California Department of Public Health to request the use of the MFH facilities.
As posted today on the HCA’s website, ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus, Orange County currently has 10.4 percent (unadjusted) of adult intensive care unit beds available in our local hospital system and reported an additional 2,173 cases of COVID-19 today.
MFHs are capable of expanding current hospital capacity by adding additional beds to existing grounds. They are housed in large, semi-type trailers and contain heavy duty canvas tents with hard flooring and temperature-controlled units equipped with running water, toilets and showers, generators and lighting, as well as air purifiers. MFHs can be configured in a myriad of footprints and sizes, and the HCA has a total of 8 trailers to support at minimum, 200 patient beds.
The MFHs can be used for numerous COVID-19 mitigation activities such as expanding emergency department capacity and med-surge or specialty care unit beds, mass vaccination facilities, and more. Each identified hospital is charged with using the MFH in a manner that best suits their facility. The following OC hospitals have requested this resource from the HCA and have already activated their surge plans:
- Fountain Valley Regional Hospital — 50 beds
- St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton — 25 beds
- University of California, Irvine — 50 beds
Planning is currently underway with additional hospitals to encourage an equitable countywide distribution of the HCA’s available mobile beds.
“Our team is working around the clock with our hospital partners to distribute and operationalize these critical resources, but the community must do its part and practice non-medical preventative measures like mask wearing, physical distancing and frequent hand-washing to help stop the surge,” said Dr. Clayton Chau, County Health Officer and Director of the HCA.