Old library in Mission Hills
Mayor Kevin Faulconer said April 1 that unused city properties, such as city recreation centers, libraries and parking lots, could be utilized as field hospitals as part of an “all-hands-on-deck approach” toward COVID-19. Photo via Google.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer Wednesday ordered that all vacant and surplus city properties be made available to accommodate an “expected surge” in COVID-19 patients, with hopes of preventing hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.

Faulconer said city recreation centers, libraries and parking lots were examples of unused properties that should be utilized to shoulder the burden placed upon hospitals as part of an “all-hands-on-deck approach” toward COVID-19.

The properties could be used for field hospitals or locations to conduct testing, Faulconer said.

Faulconer urged San Diegans to continue practicing social distancing and staying at home in order to keep the number of COVID-19 cases from escalating.

“The most important resource we need is time,” Faulconer said. “We need to stretch out the spread of this virus over a longer period of time so hospitals do not get overwhelmed all at once.”

Faulconer warned against relaxing as the weeks and months progress through the pandemic.

“We let down our guard right now, all of our sacrifices to this point can be lost,” Faulconer said. “More people will spread the virus. More people will get the disease. More people will end up in the hospital all at the same time.

“This is the chain of events that could crash San Diego’s healthcare system.”

— City News Service