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OC Hospitals Set Up Mobile Field Units To Help With Patient Overflow As COVID-19 Surge Persists

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) -- With coronavirus cases continuing to mount pressure on Orange County's medical system, the county's first mobile field hospital began admitting patients this week.

UCI Medical Center mobile field hospital
A mobile field hospital outside UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif. Dec. 29, 2020. (CBSLA)

On Tuesday, the mobile field hospital in the front parking lot at UCI Medical Center in Orange admitted its first patients. A total of 50 patients can be treated at one time. It will be able to treat both COVID-19 patients and those with other ailments.

The field hospital is equipped with running water, air purifiers and lighting, but does not have ICU capabilities.

"They're doing what they can to help as many people as they can," Newport Beach resident Ashley West said. "So, good for them for putting it up so quickly and being able to help as many people as they can. I think it's really awesome."

Another mobile field unit is set to open at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital. It will be able to handle 25 patients.

"I think it's great," Chino resident Randall Powell said. "The hospitals are running out of room. Where else can they go?"

Orange County reported Tuesday that another 75 COVID-19 patients have been admitted to local hospitals. There are now at least 2,106 hospitalized coronavirus patients in O.C. hospitals, a new high since the pandemic began, with 473 of those in ICUs.

Also Tuesday, 2,452 more cases were reported, as well as one additional fatality. The county death toll is now at 1,847 and there have been a total of 152,059 confirmed cases.

The county's state-adjusted ICU bed availability remained at zero, and the unadjusted figure increased from 5.9% Monday to 8.9% Tuesday. The state created the adjusted metric to reflect the difference in beds available for COVID-19 patients and non-coronavirus patients.

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