Beds and medical equipment are being set up for a federal field hospital at Palomar Medical Center in Escondido as a precaution amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, a hospital official said Wednesday.
The 250-bed “hospital within a hospital” was announced earlier this month as a means to support county medical facilities in case the pandemic spreads and more patients are sickened with the virus. Army Corps of Engineers began to set up the equipment on Wednesday at the hospital.
The federal field hospital is being installed on the 10th and 11th floor of the medical center. The temporary facility will include 20 enhanced care treatment beds, 10 adjustable exam beds for triage, five bariatric beds, 25 toddler cots and 24 portable cribs
Palomar Medical officials stress that the field hospital is being set as a precaution to have in case COVID-19 cases in the county worsen. Right now, local hospitals are within capacity to treat patients with the virus and the facility may never be used if cases continue to be steady. It is a backup.
“The County will work with local hospitals to determine when or if to open,” a spokesperson for Palomar Medical Center said. “We expect it will only open in the event a surge in patients brings hospitals near capacity.”