The Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa is being prepared to house non-coronavirus diagnosed patients, officials said Wednesday.

The center at 2501 Harbor Blvd. has served developmentally disabled patients, but was being closed by the state. In February, state officials were planning to use it to house passengers from a cruise line stricken with COVID-19, but city and county leaders went to federal court to block the move, which was abandoned by the state.

However, things have changed, Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley said.

“We’re in a situation where we have to prepare for 50,000 bed statewide, 2,500 in Orange County,” Foley told City News Service. “We want to make sure our residents here in Orange County have appropriate care and have the ability to go to a hospital if needed.

“We do not want to see people dying in hallways of a hospital like we’re seeing in other places in the country.”

Foley said the federal court battle to block the move of COVID-19 patients to Fairview was worth it.

“We are in a much different situation now,” she said. “We bought ourselves some time in Orange County (with the court battle). We wouldn’t have been able to prepare for this if they had moved (coronavirus patients) here then.”

The patients to be cared for at Fairview will not have the virus, Foley emphasized. Moving them from area hospitals will make room for COVID-19 patients to be housed in local hospitals, officials said.

Foley praised state and county officials for their work on tackling the coroanvirus.

“We’re grateful to the county for their efforts to work collaboratively with us,” Foley said.

There have been some discussions about using the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, but only if the area is deluged with more patients than traditional care facilities can handle, Foley said.

“Every public building, hotel, convention center and sporting arena is on the table if we have a surge in our hospitals,” Foley said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom is attempting to build hospital capacity by more than 50,000 beds by the end of May.

Patients who need monitoring and require “low to medium levels of care” will be admitted to Fairview by local medical providers, according to the state.

“As our nation is in the midst of uncertainty, it is important that all levels of government collaborate to find solutions to end this pandemic as quickly as possible,” said Michelle Steel, the chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

“The county of Orange is working tirelessly with cities like Costa Mesa to protect the health and safety of our residents and offer solutions to house those that need hospitalization and urgent medical attention.”

Rep. Harley Rouda, D-Newport Beach, said using Fairview “helps ensure Orange County residents and health care providers have the hospital beds they need to treat and triage patients.”

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