63 coronavirus patients from Imperial County have been transferred to hospitals across Riverside County, officials announced on Wednesday.
51 patients were transferred from Imperial County hospitals and another 12 patients walked into Riverside County hospitals recently, according to Bruce Barton, director of the Riverside County Emergency Management Department (EMD).
Riverside County spokeperson Brooke Federico confirmed to News Channel 3 that none of the patients have been taken to the federal medical station in Indio. Federico said the staff for the federal medical station were reassigned to Imperial County to support hospitals there.
Imperial County only has two hospitals. Barton says those hospitals have reached their capacity of coronavirus patients, so the decision was made to move some to Riverside County and other neighboring counties.
"Riverside County and Imperial County have a long history of working together on the Salton Sea, agriculture, education, and we are partners in the fight against this pandemic," said Riverside County Board Chair and Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez. "It is fortunate that we have the hospital space to assist our neighbors in Imperial County. It shows how important these hospital beds are and how we need to keep our hospital space available for surges that could come."
Barton said Riverside County's hospital capacity has been impacted but the increase remains within the capacity of the health system.
"The goal of the State’s regional distribution plan is to assure these patients receive needed care and are appropriately distributed across Southern California hospitals so that no single county is disproportionately impacted," said Barton.
As of Tuesday, there were 207 coronavirus patients hospitalized in Riverside County, including 67 in ICU. Hospital numbers have increased over the past couple of days. Federico confirmed this is because of the patients being brought in from Imperial County.
There have been 7,252 confirmed cases and 306 deaths in Riverside County.