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San Mateo County rolls out overflow COVID-19 treatment center at Event Center

Original post made on Apr 2, 2020

In a cavernous room at the San Mateo County Event Center, 250 hospital beds lie waiting for an emergency that county officials hope will never come.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 2, 2020, 8:29 AM

Comments (3)

Like this comment
Posted by Anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 2, 2020 at 2:10 pm

I already wrote a similar note earlier on PaloAltoOnline. Yesterday, I sent a request to all the members of the Palo Alto City Council. Here is my message again.

A good size hotel (part of the Van der Valk hotel Chain) in the most southern province of The Netherlands, Limburg, offered to convert the hotel into a temporary medical facility for patients too sick with COVID to stay at home but not too sick to be in a hospital.

The conversion from hotel to medical facility only took three and a half days.

Since many hotels in our area are nearly empty during this pandemic, would that not be a valuable consideration for our cities to consider?


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 2, 2020 at 2:23 pm

No one would trust staying at any of those hotels afterwards for fear of getting sick. Many hotels in Palo Alto are already battling vermin problems (roaches/rats).
My last guests stayed with me because their hotel room smelled like insecticide.


Like this comment
Posted by John Ebneter
a resident of another community
on Apr 3, 2020 at 4:46 pm

San Mateo County Board of Supervisors
400 County Center
Redwood City, CA

Honorable Board of Supervisors:
The homeless population in San Mateo County is growing with an ever-larger percentage of the elderly making up the biggest segment of that growth. Most of the elderly homeless have underlying health issues that leaves them highly vulnerable to COVID – 19. The health issues are acute in this age group and guidelines are typically to treat a 50-year-old homeless person as you would a 70-year-old.
With all the mandatory guidelines being implemented to curtail the spread of the virus a widely infected homeless community could undermine the progress made in other segments of the population. The general population can make wholesale changes to their daily lives yet without addressing the homeless crisis, as it pertains to the spread of COVID, our efforts will be undermined by the disease running rampant in that community. One of the biggest strains on societies ability to function will be keeping our medical professionals and first responders healthy and virus free.
A highly contagious and geographically dispersed homeless population in need of critical medical services will only strain a very thin safety net of providers to its breaking point. By treating the most vulnerable community members with dignity and grace we will be acknowledging their worthiness and eliminating a toxic mix of despair and damming exposure to our medical and public safety professionals.
The closing of the county event center to help combat the virus has left us quite an opportunity to set up shelters for the homeless there. We can use the facility as a place to test, quarantine and temporarily house the homeless in an orderly and humane manner all the while reducing the threat of infecting our first responders.
The homeless population does not have any of the methods recommended by government agencies of socially isolating themselves, taking personnel high gene precautions are not feasible nor do they have any way of building up their immune system to help prevent stopping the virus. They are the least protected and the most vulnerable to an ongoing disease that can decimate even those with access to the best practices to curtail its advancement.
I am requesting that the county aggressively implement a system of mandatory screening, housing and quarantining of the homeless in our community as part of the counties mandated guidelines surrounding public safety in the battle against COVID – 19. The county event center is an ideal location to make this happen and with public support we can start to rebuild some dignity in the community that needs it the most.

Thank You
John Ebneter


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