Desert Care Network CEO Michele Finney wrote a letter to the community, revealing that Desert Regional Medical Center has cared for over 100 suspected coronavirus patients and the changes made at the hospital.
The Desert Care Network encompasses Desert Regional, JFK Memorial Hospital, and the Hi-Desert Medical Center.
"We understand the widespread concern and uncertainty in our community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But you should feel reassured that our exceptional team of dedicated caregivers is ready and able to continue providing the higher level of care for which our hospital is known," Finney writes.
In March alone, Finney revealed that Desert Regional staff cared for 138 suspected coronavirus patients. 100 of those patients ultimately tested negative for the coronavirus. A total of 19 tested positive, although several were treated on home quarantine.
The hospital is awaiting results for another 19 patients.
According to Finney, the Desert Care Network worked with Riverside University Health System, Riverside County Public Health, Desert Healthcare District and others to provide Drive-Thru coronavirus testing for over 1,200 symptomatic Coachella Valley residents in the last two weeks.
More than 3,000 patients have been tested across Riverside County according to officials. As of 3/30/2020, there are 291 cases.
Finney writes that Desert Regional has taken appropriate steps to screen and treat patients For instance, there are now 114 beds at Desert Regional's negative pressure units and rooms. That is up from 11.
Sixty of those beds are capable of handling critical care patients.
Additionally, Finney wrote about the plan in place should there be a surge in cases.
"The plan includes expanding our current intensive care unit (ICU) capacity to as many as 75 beds and shifting some equipment such as patient monitors, telemetry boxes, and anesthesia machines from other areas in the system to help care for COVID-19 patients," Finney writes. "If needed, we have the ability to convert unused space into to patient care areas by adding up to 47 medical-surgical beds in selected areas. Additionally, our emergency plan includes erecting up to 16 decontamination and surge tents and installing 230 treatment stations for patients."
Surge plans are also in place at JFK and Hi-Desert as well.
"Most important, we are fortunate to have engaged medical staff at our Desert Care Network hospitals who are fully committed to continuing to care for our community regardless of the challenges presented by the pandemic. Our physicians are supported by a talented and dedicated group of nurses and other caregivers, ready to serve those who need our help in the coming weeks and months," Finney writes.