OC's Saddleback Medical Center showing public it's ready to accept non-coronavirus patients

The mayor of Laguna Hills says a tour of Saddleback Medical Center showed her the hospital is capable of accepting patients without coronavirus issues.
LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- Laguna Hills Mayor Janine Heft is describing what she saw during a tour Tuesday of the city's only hospital, Saddleback Medical Center.

"When you walk in, you have a feeling that they have done their homework, that they have prepared," Heft said.

The hospital invited her to be able to show how ready they are for all patients - COVID and non-COVID - now that state health officials have allowed hospitals to reintroduce services that were once put on hold like essential surgeries and preventative care.

"I thought it would be a really nice idea to find out what's going on, what they're doing, what the preparations are, what their situation is in terms of COVID patients, and that type of thing," said Heft.

She says she found that it's a safe place for people to come for care for any reason at all with a system in place to keep infectious patients isolated.

"It's a safe place to come if you have chest pains, if you cut yourself, if something happened to you and you're thinking, I don't want to go there because I'm afraid of something, how contracting COVID-19, that's not the case. It's a place where they're gonna welcome you and take care of you and make sure that you're protected in every single way," she said.

The hospital says MemorialCare is well prepared to safely take care of its patients and staff in accordance with guidelines from the state and the CDC. The hospital also recognized the community support, saying "Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Saddleback Medical Center has been exceedingly amazed and grateful for the outpouring of support from the community and the City of Laguna Hills."

"A huge wall full of thank you cards and letters and just an outpouring from our surrounding community that said thank you Saddleback, thank you for what you're doing," Heft said.

The hospital will get another dose of that Thursday afternoon when an Orange County church plans to do a drive by thank you parade.
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