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Gov. Newsom Tours Sleep Train Arena As Work Starts To Turn It Into Coronavirus Surge Hospital

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Work is underway to convert the old Sleep Train Arena building into a surge hospital as California continues to prepare for an expected spike in coronavirus cases that could strain the state's healthcare system.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom toured the old arena on Monday and talked about how it was just one of more than 4,000 surge sites identified by the state.

"Before we even asked, it was offered," Newsom said of site.

The building is expected to house 400 beds that will add to California's total. Newsom said he expects the facility to be up and accepting patients, if necessary, as early as April 20.

Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, who was with the governor during his tour of the arena on Monday, thanked Newsom for his leadership through the coronavirus crisis.

"It's bigger than basketball. If we can use our platform to impact the world in a positive way and make a difference, then that's what we need to do," Ranadive said.

Earlier on Monday, Newsom announced that 500 ventilators owned by California had been loaned out to the national stockpile.

"We are confident in our procurement of thousands of additional ventilators," Newsom said.

Newsom also noted that he was confident that California wouldn't need those ventilators as long as residents continue to practice social distancing.

He urged Californians to double down on social distancing, especially as the weather gets better the next week.

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