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COVID-19: Calaveras Public Health Setting Up Alternate Care Site

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San Andreas, CA — The Calaveras High School gymnasium is being equipped with 30 beds in the event a surge in demand outpaces the capacity at Mark Twain Medical Center over the coming weeks.

Calaveras Public Health Officer Dr. Dean Kelaita says over the next 6-8 weeks the latest modeling projects that local hospital occupancy for coronavirus patients will range anywhere from 10 to 212, with a median average projection of 61.

Mark Twain Medical Center typically has a capacity to care for 25 patients at one time, but it was recently expanded to meet the needs of 35, with the potential to expand to 50.

Dr. Kelaita notes, “You can see in the worst case scenarios there is a significant deficit in the ability of our medical care system to care for those hospitalized patients.”

Emergency medical equipment and supplies are currently being brought to the Calaveras High gymnasium in San Andreas and 30 beds are being set up. Requests for additional supplies have been made through state partners, and there is also a request for more staffing.

Dr. Kelaita says, “This is a big deal for our community to be doing this. We are hoping for the best, but we are preparing for the worst. The best case scenario is that we take the Alternate Care Site down if it is not needed after the next 4-6 week period unfolds.”

Dr. Kelaita stresses that there is a difference between setting up the site and actually activating it. But, by taking the current steps, it will make the activation go quicker and smoother.

Dr. Kelaita also announced to the Board of Supervisors yesterday that one of the county’s nine cases of COVID-19 (case number four) was determined to likely be from “community transmission,” as there was no known travel history. The woman is a resident of Valley Springs. All of the other cases are believed to have been contracted out of the county. Six of the nine patients have now recovered. There have been no deaths.

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