Alhambra High School in Martinez will no longer be considered as an "alternate care site" for treatment of some patients with the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Martinez schools superintendent said Thursday in a community message.
"Due to many factors related to the complexities of converting the school buildings to provide medical treatment, it has been decided that Alhambra High School will no longer be considered for use as an alternative care site," Superintendent CJ Cammack said.
That announcement came on the same day Contra Costa County officials announced that the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond is becoming an alternate care site.
The Craneway will have 250 beds for an overflow of COVID-19 patients who don't need ICU-level care in the event that local hospitals are unable to accommodate a surge in cases.
A part of the Martinez high school was being considered for that same use as well, but isn't any more.
Contra Costa County health officials have also said part of the former Los Medanos Community Hospital in Pittsburg is also under consideration to become a temporary alternate care site, but no formal decision has been announced.
Richmond event center becomes medical facility
In preparation for a massive surge in novel coronavirus cases, Contra Costa County is converting a massive event venue on the Richmond waterfront into a medical station.
County officials are working with the California National Guard and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Division of Strategic National Stockpile to convert the Craneway Pavilion by the third week of April -- which is when the virus is expected to peak in the Bay Area.
Beds and medical supplies provided by the federal government are being trucked in by the National Guard in order to create a 250-bed temporary medical facility that can care for the expected surge in COVID-19 patients, according to county officials.
"Dedicated county physicians, nurses and other professional staff will provide vital medical care in this historic building to help prevent our local hospitals from becoming overburdened by an expected surge in patients," said Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia in a news release announcing the conversion.
The medical station is intended for an overflow of COVID-19 patients who don't need ICU-level care in the event that local hospitals are unable to accommodate a surge in cases.
In addition, the county is setting up other sites to care for patients outside of hospitals and is planning to use hotels for homeless residents.
The Craneway Pavilion was built as a Ford auto assembly plant in 1937 and was used to build Jeeps, tanks and other military vehicles during World War II. It is part of the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park.
"The Craneway played an essential part in winning World War II. Today it is being repurposed to fight another global war," said Richmond Mayor Tom Butt. "This facility will help not only our local communities but contribute to the overall effort to contain COVID-19."
Other local governments around the state and nation are also setting up new temporary medical facilities to cope with the pandemic, including San Mateo County, which now has 250 hospital beds in the County Event Center.