Samaritan’s Purse has responded to the coronavirus outbreak in Southern California by deploying an emergency field hospital in Lancaster to support the region’s overwhelmed healthcare system. Antelope Valley Hospital and the City of Lancaster reached out to Samaritan’s Purse because of their experience in providing surge capacity in the wake of the pandemic.

Now, the international Christian relief organization is building a 50+ bed field hospital, specialized as a respiratory care unit, in the parking lot of Antelope Valley Hospital. Samaritan’s Purse medical personnel will provide high-quality care and compassion to coronavirus patients.

“As COVID cases are still on the rise, we are deploying a second Emergency Field Hospital in the U.S. – this time to California,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse. “We have the opportunity to help relieve some of the pressure from the healthcare system in Lancaster, and we’re thankful our team can come alongside them. Please pray for the frontline workers fighting COVID every single day.”

Portions of the field hospital arrived by tractor-trailor on Jan. 9; and disaster response specialists began to construct the more than 50-bed unit.

“We are grateful for the support provided by Samaritan’s Purse, as we anticipate another surge of COVID patients in the coming weeks, the help couldn’t have been more timely,” said Ed Mirzabegian, CEO of Antelope Valley Hospital. “We have also been humbled by the support of the community, as volunteers help set up tents and bring in supplies needed for the field hospital. We have faith that together we will overcome this.”

“When we heard Samaritan’s Purse was willing to help us with the current COVID-19 crisis, I was beyond thankful. Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian organization that helps those in need around the world,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “They have been instrumental in responding worldwide to this pandemic, and we are fortunate to have their support here in the City of Lancaster. God is so good.”

Samaritan’s Purse opened a similar 30-bed respiratory care unit in western North Carolina on Jan. 7, making this the fifth emergency field hospital that Samaritan’s Purse has deployed worldwide in response to the coronavirus.