MORENO VALLEY, Calif. - As coronavirus cases continue to surge in California, several storage units are being converted into ICU centers to help with the increase of patients.
Health officials in Riverside County say that 90% of their ICU beds and 70% of their licensed beds are taken.
A hospital in Moreno Valley had to get creative to take care of its patients and it's far from ideal.
FOX 11 News got a rare glimpse of the makeshift facility. It was a neo-natal unit before it became storage.
At the Riverside University Health System Hospital, the storage unit is housing 10 ICU beds. Pre-op and post-op recovery rooms are also being converted and children are being transferred to other hospitals, not because the children are sick with COVID-19, but because pediatric beds are the only ones open in the county at this point.
County health officials say they broke yet another record in the number of patients being treated in intensive care units due to COIVD-19 complications. The RUHS reported a record 768 COVID-19 positive hospitalizations, including 172 patients in ICU (the previous record was 167, in July).
About a quarter of the patients in the ICU are COVID-19 patients according to Bruce Barton, Director of the Riverside County’s Emergency Management Department. At the Moreno Valley facility, hospitalizations are up by 40%, compared to a regular year, 30% if you compare with a bad flu season.
COVID-19 patients take more resources, and when the cases are complicated, they will stay longer. If the coronavirus surge continues at this rate health officials say it will be a bad winter season for them.