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Santa Clara Convention Center gets first COVID-19 patients

Bay Area

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KRON) — In the South Bay, the Santa Clara Convention Center has accepted two COVID-19 patients.

The facility is one of eight in the state to prevent overwhelming area hospitals.

The patients were transferred from Santa Clara County hospitals earlier on Sunday. The facility will be a safe place for them to quarantine until they make a full recovery.

The Santa Clara Convention Center can take care of up to 250 COVID-19 patients.

As of Sunday, two checked in.

“These patients were transferred over so that they can continue on their recovery efforts here,” Michael Clark said.

The field respite center serves less-acute COVID-19 patients who don’t need to be hospitalized but need a safe place to quarantine while they recover and prevent exposing the virus to anyone at home.

The facility is one of eight in the state designed to prepare hospitals for surge capacity.

The National Guard delivered beds and medical supplies last month.

“The facility has been ready to receive patients and waiting for the hospital to have a need to push patients here,” Clark said. “The hospitals are doing fine at this moment.”

KRON4 spoke to Joe Simitian, County Supervisor of District 5. He said the stay-at-home order is showing progress.

“While that curve is being flattened, our local hospitals are taking the opportunity in having some success in ramping up their capacity,” Simitian said. “There are more beds available now, there are more ICU units. We can surge the capacity as the expression goes.”

It may be encouraging news, but there’s still more work to be done in the community.

“There’s a persistent minority of folks out there who either haven’t gotten the message or just don’t care who are still engaging in group activities and that’s a problem,” Simitian said.

Supervisor Simitian says it’s difficult to enforce the stay at home order requirements with the public, but Stanford just closed its popular dish trail after concerns of people not social distancing and if people keep it up, more parks and trails will close.

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