First patients arrive at Santa Clara Convention Center

Hospital beds line the Santa Clara Convention Center in rows of 10. They total 250, erected over the past week by the California Air National Guard.

On Sunday, two patients arrived at the temporary medical facility, the first of what could be hundreds of less-acute patients served inside what was once a hub of Silicon Valley commerce.

The facility at the convention center will focus on treating patients that don’t require intensive care. It will not offer walk-up service; you’ll need a referral from a medical provider.

Although there are still plenty of available hospital beds and intensive care units across the county it continues to take proactive steps to fight the virus. Hospitalizations from the virus are anticipated to surge this week across the nation.

“Our county’s decision to be proactive from the onset of this crisis has ensured that we have leveraged important resources like the (Field Respite Centers) before the need is significant,” Supervisor Susan Ellenberg said in a statement. “Today’s patients will have the ability to recuperate in a safe setting while still sheltering in place – keeping all of our residents and essential workers protected. Our county continues to look to local partners as well as state and federal resources to help fight COVID-19.”

Although the county was one of the first hotspots on the virus in the nation, it was also the first to implement a shelter-in-place order.

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