Santa Clara’s Convention Center is being transformed into a temporary Federal Medical Station. Over the weekend, the City of Santa Clara agreed to partner with the county, state and federal medical leaders to build a station with the ability to care for up to 250 people.
“The FMS will serve less-acute COVID-19 cases and provide increased capacity for our healthcare system. The FMS, managed by the United States Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, is currently under construction and will include beds, supplies, and medicines for up to 250 individuals,” said a statement released by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department on March 24.
On March 23, members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers arrived at the Convention Center to examine the site and begin planning for the Federal Medical Station. Supplies also started to arrive on the site that day.
The Federal Medical Stations were designed by the federal government for instances like the spread of COVID-19. They were designed to be flexible, modular and scalable so that they could be quickly transported to any location in need.
There are a minimum set of requirements a location must meet in order to qualify as a Federal Medical Station including approximately 40,000 square feet of enclosed, climate-controlled space connected to loading docks/ramps with forklifts and ample parking. There must also be sufficient power supply with back-up power if necessary and support services including food, water, refrigeration, waste disposal and laundry. Bathroom and shower capabilities are also necessary.
The federal, state and local governments are expected to work together to run the Federal Medical Station. There is no word yet on when it will be up and running.
Currently, traffic in the Santa Clara Convention Center parking lot is monitored and most of the parking in the area is blocked off.