By Eileen M. Samitz
I, like many, are grateful to hear that Yolo County has recently required face coverings for the public including essential workers. Many Davis residents have been requesting it, so appreciation goes to Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Ron Chapman for implementing this new face coverings policy.
However, I am very concerned about the County’s current plan of how overspill from our two local hospitals would be handled should we have a COVID-19 “surge” locally. As things stand now, overspill patients from our small Sutter-Davis (48 beds) and Woodland (156 beds) hospitals would be sent to Sleep Train Arena (formerly Arco Arena) in Sacramento. Since we only have these two small hospitals in Yolo County, and although some extra capacity has been planned, it is very possible we would exceed that limited capacity. Davis alone has over 69,000 residents and Yolo County has over 220,000 residents.
The current plan means that hospital overspill of Davis and other Yolo County residents would be sent to Sleep Train Arena, and housed on cots with ineffective, if any barriers, between hundreds of other sick patients including all the Sacramento County residents it would be trying to attend to as well. Isolation between patients would be difficult and, how would bathroom accommodations be handled for all these sick patients? Bedpans? Porta-potties?
An obvious question is why only is this regional plan being counted on, instead of using UCD vacant student housing on the UCD campus like Gov. Newsom is planning with UCLA? How many Davis and other Yolo County residents who were sick with COVID-19 would opt to be in a huge arena setting, rather than having bathroom facilities and more containment between patients like on the UCD campus? So, why is local hospital overspill planning not being explored here in Yolo County at UCD like UCLA? (See: https://dailybruin.com/2020/03/22/ucla-may-convert-campus-facilities-to-hospitals-for-covid-19-patients-if-needed/)
I encourage residents who want this to happen, please email Dr. Chapman, our Yolo County Supervisors and City Council and ask them to start planning with UCD to use their vacant student housing on-campus like UCLA in case it’s needed for hospital overspill, and/or quarantine space. Their email addresses are firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and CityCouncilmembers@cityofdavis.org