Alternative Care Sites Support County’s Response to COVID-19

Alternative Care Sites Support County’s Response to COVID-19

Yera Nanan | Contributor

California is among the nation’s COVID-19 hotspots and in recent weeks, leadership has continued working to slow the surge and bring the numbers down.

Today there are more than 609,000 cases in the state even though the California Department of Public Health has long required all  counties to close indoor operations for some divisions.

When the stay-at-home order was first mandated by Governor Newsom in mid-March, the County of San Bernardino did its part to flatten the curve yet cases continue to rise.

The county turned to alternate care sites as the end of July reflected a record number of hospitalizations.

Alternate care sites are non-traditional environments such as hotels or mobile medical units where patients can get the same care they would receive in a hospital depending on jurisdictional requirements.

County hospitals have handled the increase thus far, as reported by KTLA 5, but some patients are transferred from the back-up sites to hospitals if an individual’s condition worsens.

Registered nurse Alisa Jordan, works at the Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center and also helps cardiac patients at Loma Linda University.

These places are already taking the necessary steps to treat current patients while being able to deal with admittance increases due to COVID-19.

“At both places it has been really packed as far as the patients coming in…we are having to open up more units to accommodate the COVID-19 patients”, said Jordan.

Hospital admittance can depend on the respiratory issues the person is experiencing as recovery is always the end goal for any patient in a hospital’s care.

“Only come to the hospital if it is an emergency situation just because we are so packed…the patients that are coming in active respiratory distress, are the main ones getting admitted,” mentioned Jordan.

All Southern California counties were placed on the COVID-19 watch list.

Curative Inc. employee, Marvin Macharia, works with test kits from various counties, and has noticed an influx of positive results from the Los Angeles region.

“If our samples are coming from the Los Angeles region, we do see higher positive results than before but we are also increasing the number of cities that we receive samples from”, said Macharia.

Located in San Dimas, CA, Curative Inc. looks to make testing more accessible by working with communities so pressure can be taken off of hospitals.

“The more we test, the more we get information on [whether] the things we are doing, are actually effective against COVID-19,”  mentioned Macharia.

The seven-day average number of new cases has been decreasing since the month of August started, but hospitals are still preparing for the worse.

“We are getting to a point where we are preparing for it to get bad…across our whole county we’re going to start practicing team nursing by increasing our ratios and we are going to need more nurses,” said Jordan.

The California Department of Public Health is still advising people to practice social distancing, wear a cloth face mask when out in public and follow guidelines from public health officials.

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