Former Sears store in Riverside to be used as county's second federal medical station

A former department store in Riverside will soon serve as a medical station to help during the coronavirus pandemic. 

An empty Sears store on Arlington Avenue will soon be used as a 125-bed hospital.

The Sears building is now the second Riverside County site to be used as a federal medical station (FMS). 

Materials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be used at the site. FMS will provide beds, bed sheets, portable sinks, medication and complete units of personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, gowns and face shields. 

The California National Guard will be at the Magnolia Avenue site this week to set up a portion of the FMS, according to a statement from Riverside County officials. 

“Moving out the medically fragile folks from Magnolia Rehab was just the beginning,” said Riverside County public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser. “There will be many folks who’ll need care when our hospitals start taking hits, and this second station means we’ll have the same added capacity in our western county as we do in the east.” 

According to the county, materials will be set up on the second floor of the department store, allowing them to create two stations that will care for less acute patients.

“This facility will ease the burden on our local hospitals during the pandemic, which will allow them to perform more effectively for everyone,” said Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey in a statement.

“On behalf of our local medical community, I appreciate the county’s efforts to increase capacity in our area.”

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Officials say Riverside County hospitals will soon move stable, less severe patients to this new location.

A similar FMS station is currently operating at the fairgrounds in Indio.

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