Alternate Care Sites Provide Surge Capacity to Help Decompresses Strained Systems


California hospitals continue to see the effects of the COVID-19 virus, especially its impacts on hospital beds. To address hospital bed shortages, Alternate Care Sites and Residential Alternate Care Sites serve to add capacity to existing systems.

The strategically placed Alternate Care Sites were designed to build capacity and enhance the ability of hospitals to withstand the surge of COVID-19 patients. The additional hospital bed availability allows health care delivery systems to provide care for patients, focus their resources on those with the most acute needs and ease strained systems.

In addition to the existing sites, Residential Alternate Care Sites also help ease the burden on hospitals by providing needed care and support to people recovering from COVID-19 who do not require hospital-level care but are also not yet ready to return to their previous facilities.

The Residential Alternate Care Sites serve as a resource for California’s adult and senior care facilities and the surrounding community, which care for older and/or disabled Californians who are no longer able to live in their homes.  The Residential Alternate Care Sites will provide a level of support consistent with requirements for Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly or Adult Residential Facilities, which includes supervision and assistance with the activities of daily living such as bathing and feeding and can include care by licensed nurses for individuals recovering from COVID-19.

Breakdown of the Alternate Care Sites and Residential Alternate Care Sites currently with patients (as of 1/26/21):

ARCO/Sleep Train Arena (Sacramento County): 14 patients

Porterville Developmental Center (Tulare County): 15 patients

Fairview Developmental Center (Orange County): 41 patients

Imperial Valley College (Imperial County): 6 patients

Los Angeles Residential Alternate Care Site (Los Angeles County): 1 patient

Norwalk ACS (Los Angeles County): 41 patients

Palomar Medical Center (San Diego County): 18 patients

Total in beds: 136 patients

Total beds in active status: 355

There are 1,802 beds in warm status throughout the 21 total sites throughout the state, with seven of the sites active with patients in beds.

Map of Alternate Care Sites and Residential Alternate Care Sites


To view the public dashboard with the most up-to-date information, click here.

In addition to Alternate Care Sites, the state has 22 California Medical Stations, which are 50 bed field hospitals, in its cache that can be rapidly deployed.

Visit for more information on the state’s response to COVID-19 and critical steps Californians can take to stay healthy.