SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sleep Train Arena, once the home of the Sacramento Kings, has at least one more big play to make in its career as it transforms into a treatment site in the fight against coronavirus.
The history of Sleep Train Arena is no small one in the history of Sacramento. It's where LeBron James played his first game, and now, as Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé said Monday, it's history of big moments in the state will continue as it is converted into a treatment facility for COVID-19 patients.
"(Sacramento) has always been here for us, and we will be there for the city in any small way we can," said Ranadivé said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on April 3 that construction had already begun to prepare the arena for patients. Once complete, he says some 400 beds will be available to patients who have been discharged from the hospital with mild to moderate symptoms.
The governor said acute care for more severe cases will continue to be done primarily at hospitals.
Several other sites have been acquired across the state, according to Newsom. He says there are currently 4,613 beds available in places like Sleep Train arena in every major area of California.
Those areas will also include Butte, Shasta, San Diego and Fresno Counties. In the end, Newsom said some 20,00 beds will be available so that when the state peaks, as projected in mid-May, Californians will be ready.
Health Corps California
At least 81,879 people have signed up for Health Corps California, a program Newsom announced just last week. Learn more about how you can help, here.
Newsom said vetting is continuing, but, once hires are made, these people will serve at temporary hospitals, like Sleep Train Arena, to care for COVID-19 patients.
Those in the Health Corps will be placed where they are most needed, with family limitations in mind.
Newsom went on to thank Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg for generously donating stipends to assist Health Corps members with childcare and transportation when they being working.
How you can help: If you're looking to, know that there are so many options for you. Visit serve.ca.gov to learn more about how you can meet the moment.
On Monday, Gov. Newsom announced that 500 ventilators were leaving California temporarily to help other states in need.
When asked why he decided to send ventilators to the national stockpile, rather than to specific states in need (such as New York), Newsom said the state worked with federal partners and FEMA to come to the decision. He said it was more appropriate to re-deploy ventilators to a place where they could be allocated to all in need, not just one state.
There are currently 11,036 ventilators available in California, with 1,000 recently refurbished by Bloom Energy in San Jose County. More are now being refurbished and another 500 are on their way, Newsom said.
Newsom made it clear that the ventilators sent to the national stockpile were lent, not given. And, should California need any of them back, it would be feasible.
“We’re Americans, first and foremost....as a nation-state, we can do certain things where we can punch above our weight...but to the extent that we have the resources, we're gonna be there for as many people as we can," Newsom said. "But know this, we’re also taking care of our 40 million Californians as well.”
Continue social distancing
Newsom once again stressed that the biggest way for Californians to "meet the moment" is to continue to stay home.
"Models mean nothing if we change our behaviors by getting cabin fever and not physical distancing," Newsom said, saying that what Californians are doing has been working and asking that they continue to double down.
"Let us not look back and dream because we didn't do all we could to bend that curve," he said. "Thank you, stay safe."
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