Alternative care site reopens at Imperial Valley College

El Centro Regional Medical Center confirmed Thursday that it has transferred the first recovering COVID-19 patient to the newly reopened alternative care site at Imperial Valley College. COURTESY PHOTO


IMPERIAL — The alternate care site for COVID-19 patients at Imperial Valley College is officially back in business.

Imperial County officials announced that the ACS, located in the college’s gym, reopened Thursday at 7 a.m.

So far one patient from El Centro Regional Medical Center has been transferred to the facility.

Officials said the reopening is due to the recent surge in COVID cases within the county. They said the goal to increase local capacity for patient care. 

Patients at the facility will be low-acuity patients who will be close to discharge and will be transferred directly from local hospitals. Members of the public will not be able to access care directly at the ACS.

The ACS was initially established at the end of May and had been kept in a “warm” status since August, meaning that a limited amount of equipment remained in the college gym in case there was a need to open it once again.

The understanding among local and state partners was that that it would reopen if the county saw a need.

County officials said have been working closely with El Centro Regional Medical Center and Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District staff to review data on COVID-19 cases and plan for any additional resources that may be needed in the community.

Meanwhile, the Imperial County Public Health Department also issued a statement with regard to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new limited stay at home order. The order generally requires that all non-essential work, travel, and gatherings stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in counties in the purple tier. This includes Imperial County. 

The order will take effect at 10 p.m. Saturday until 5 a.m. Dec. 21. 

The Imperial County health officer is currently in the process of updating the county’s stay at home order to reflect these recent changes from the state.

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