The deadline for California hospitals to make seismic upgrades was 2008. Some Bay Area hospitals just keep applying for — and receiving — extensions.
When the next Loma Prieta-caliber earthquake hits the Bay Area, there will obviously be great need for emergency rooms, hospital beds, and medical professionals. But these things will be of no use if they are piles of rubble, or trapped beneath such piles. And many of them could be, as ABC 7's I-Team report finds that many Bay Area hospitals are at risk of collapsing in an earthquake.
That seems pretty terrifying, so SFist went through the list to identify which Bay Area hospitals are out of compliance.
The Hospital Facilities Seismic Safety Act (AB 2190) gave hospitals until 2008 to bring themselves into structural compliance. But the current version of the bill allows them to apply for extensions, again and again. We found eight Bay Area hospitals taking advantage of these exemptions, and well past their deadlines for seismic upgrades. (ABC 7 appears to have mistaken the full state list number of 41 past-due hospitals as belonging to the Bay Area.)
Fortunately for San Francisco, none of them are here in the city — not with patients in them, at least. While the CPMC California Street campus is out of compliance, we reported last March that patients were being moved out for the retrofit process. A CPMC spokesperson tells KGO, "There are some isolated support and outpatient care services still operating in the facility, which will relocate throughout 2020."
That’s why CPMC California Street facility does not appear on the Office of Statewide Health, Planning and Development database list of hospitals that are currently on extension (you have to click on the “Have AB 2190 extensions” to see those.) But of the 41 hospitals listed statewide who are currently on extension, there are quite a few in the East Bay and San Jose regions that are particularly in jeopardy of a catastrophic quake.
In the East Bay, Oakland’s Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, the Alameda Hospital, and the John Muir Medical Center-Concord Campus are all listed as under extensions on Seismic Safety Act compliance.
Up in Marin, Greenbrae’s MarinHealth Medical Center is on extension. In Daly City, the Seton Medical Center is not yet retrofitted, but as SF Weekly explains, bankruptcy may render that a moot point. San Jose’s O'Connor Hospital and the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center are also on the list.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that any hospital couldn’t be leveled by an earthquake. But it’s nice to know which hospitals have not had seismic upgrades that they should have had 12 years ago. And by “nice to know,” we mean "terrifying.”
Image: bebio Geneviève U via Yelp