Feds send 250-bed field hospital to Escondido

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ESCONDIDO, Calif. — County officials announced plans Sunday for a 250-bed federal hospital to temporarily open in Escondido, helping expand the local capacity to treat patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

The pop-up hospital will be placed on two currently unoccupied floors of Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.

“Operating as a ‘hospital within a hospital,’ the Federal Medical Station will serve as a resource to the entire medical community as San Diego County responds to an anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients expecting to need hospitalization for treatment of coronavirus,” San Diego County said in a news release.

President Donald Trump says he’s ordered the FEMA to ship the mobile medical centers to particularly hard-hit states, including Washington and New York, in addition to California.

The state government was in charge of allocating the hospitals to different regions, and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s team selected San Diego County as a recipient, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.

The field hospital will be staffed and administered by the Palomar Medical Center staff, in coordination with local government, officials said.

When asked, representatives did not give a clear timetable on when the field station would start being used. “We will know about one or two days” before the trucks full of equipment arrive, a hospital spokesperson said.

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