Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Prison Work Crew Helps Construct Surge Unit at Redwood Acres

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2020 at 9:31 AM

click to enlarge A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation inmate work crew helps construct an alternative care site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. - COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT
  • County of Humboldt
  • A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation inmate work crew helps construct an alternative care site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds.
Work developing a medical surge unit at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds to prepare for a spike in COVID-19 cases got a boost this week when a prison work crew came to help out.

The 100-bed facility at the fairgrounds is designed to provide an alternate care site to treat mildly ill patients and free up hospital space for those with critical symptoms in the event of a surge. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation High Rock No. 4 crew, which usually works in woodlands to clear brush and fallen trees to reduce fire risk, arrived yesterday morning and has been helping construct bed frames and partitions.

"This is a different kind of emergency preparedness work, but it's a resource we can use for important projects," CalFire Capt. Ed Peebles said in a county Facebook post.

Supplies for the surge unit were delivered Friday by the Governor's Office of Emergency Services, which has also been instrumental in opening a new testing site in Eureka to bolster local capacity.

As of yesterday, Humboldt County had confirmed 53 local COVID-19 cases, 52 of which have recovered, according to Public Health. But local models project the area will see a surge of cases at some point, as nine of those who have tested positive are suspected to have contracted the virus through community transmission. Models project that if the county keeps all social distancing restrictions in place through the year, we could see a manageable surge of cases in December, at which point the county will have seen 28 deaths. But if the restrictions are eased entirely by May 1, the projection shows the county could see a surge in July, with 188 deaths and a demand for hospital space that far exceeds local capacity.

click to enlarge A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation inmate work crew helps construct an alternative care site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds. - COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT
  • County of Humboldt
  • A California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation inmate work crew helps construct an alternative care site at Redwood Acres Fairgrounds.
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Thadeus Greenson

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Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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