Newsom: California In Need Of Thousands More Hospital Beds

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — California is critically low on much-needed equipment to fight coronavirus.

In Long Beach, Community Hospital was reopened after being closed since 2018, to help alleviate the burden of expected hospital bed shortages. It will supply 158 beds — a small portion of the 50,000 needed.

“We currently have 116 hospitals in the state of California,” Newsom said in a Monday briefing. “We have just shy of 75,000 licensed beds. We need an additional 50,000 beds in our system.”

Newsom is asking hospitals across the state to add 30,000 beds. He says the state will supply the remaining 20,000.

“Identifying specific assets throughout the state, including motels and hotels,” the governor said.

FEMA has already helped set up a 250-bed mobile hospital at the Riverside County Fairgrounds and 1,000-bed Naval hospital ship USNS Mercy is on its way to Los Angeles.

California also needs 200 million pieces of protective gear for healthcare workers, including masks, goggles, gloves, shoe coverings, and much more.

RELATED: Local Hospitals Ask For Donations Of Masks And Other Protective Gear

Private companies, including Tesla’s Elon Musk, local schools, and other sources have stepped up to contribute what they have.

As the state continues to take measures to protect the community against COVID-19, Newsom also announced other measures.

He is calling out Californians who aren’t listening to the stay at home order, closing down all state parking lots and asking metro bus riders to only exit and board through rear doors to protect drivers and passengers sitting upfront. Newsom also announced an online portal, where at-risk residents can sign up for coronavirus testing.

City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also opened up the Angeleno Fund to assist families struggling financially during the pandemic.

“$10 million to provide cash assistance specifically for L.A. families most in need of income,” Garcetti said.

For the latest number of coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County, click here.