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Riverside County hospitals activate surge plans as hospitalizations keep climbing

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COVID-19 hospitalizations are soaring across the southland. Now, hospitals in our county are using their surge plans to help with the overwhelming number of ICU patients. 

New Channel 3’s Dani Romero has more on how the county is preparing their efforts to help hospitals. 

Hospitals across Riverside County are now on crisis mode. 

“We can not sustain these numbers," said Jose Arballo. "These numbers are just not going to be sustainable so as much as hospitals and staff has done they can only do so much.” 

Video from Riverside Community Hospital shows that they are now expanding their bed capacity using an unused cafeteria to care for the sick.  

National guard troops were also deployed there for assistance.

“They were initially scheduled for 72 hours," said Shane Reichardt. "They ended up staying a little bit longer than that. I believe they go home [Thursday].” 

We checked in with our valley hospitals to see what type of aid they are needing.  

A spokesperson at Desert Regional told News Channel 3 they are requesting assistance for staffing and a large tent. 

At Eisenhower Health, they requested aid earlier this month and got additional staffing from the state’s labor pool.

“Whenever the hospitals have staffing requests, we're trying to fill those in any way possible," said Reichardt. "We're working with the state and all of our partners to try and fulfill those requests as quickly as possible.”

A spokesperson for the county’s emergency management department told us they are asking hospitals to activate the surge plans before requesting additional staffing. 

“We want them to exhaust all of their means before we go through extraordinary measures to try and pull resources from other areas of the state of other areas of the country," said Reichardt. "We need them to make sure that they're doing their part.” 

Federal medical facilities, like the one in Indio at the fairgrounds are on standby.

“They were never intended for COVID patients. It's the other patients that don't need a high level of care that could possibly be moved to the federal medical station, but staffing is the biggest issue," said Reichardt.

Again, the county told us they are working with hospitals to find a solution if hospitalizations continue to rise.

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Dani Romero

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