This tumultuous year has proven the essential nature of nonpartisan local news. Every day we bring you news critical to staying informed and active in the community. Join us with a tax-deductible donation.

The Orange County Fairgrounds says it’s receiving 10 trailers and is looking at three buildings on the 150-acre state property in Costa Mesa for potential emergency housing and medical services, as county officials try to find ways to stretch out hospital capacity for coronavirus response.


Editor’s Note: As Orange County’s only nonprofit & nonpartisan newsroom, Voice of OC brings you the best, most comprehensive local Coronavirus news absolutely free. No ads, no paywalls. We need your help. Please, click here to make a tax-deductible donation today to support your local news.


The announcement came at the bottom of an emailed notice with updates about the fairgrounds’ equestrian center, and was sent out on Thursday by the fairgrounds.

Neither Fairgrounds Communications Director Terry Moore nor Fair Board of Directors Chair Sandra Cervantes returned Voice of OC phone messages seeking comment Thursday night.

The email says the fairgrounds received notice that 10 trailers would be delivered by the end of the day with the purposes of “potential emergency housing.” 

The notice doesn’t explicitly say whether the trailers be used to house homeless people who have become sick or exposed to the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19, though state efforts are underway to provide more than 1,300 travel trailers for local jurisdictions to house homeless people who need to be isolated or quarantined.

Additionally, three buildings in the Main Mall area, which is the cluster of large pavilion buildings and “The Hangar” at the center of the fairgrounds “are being considered for emergency medical use,” reads the email. 

“Details about how the facilities will be utilized and who will occupy them is not yet known. The timetable is also in the works as talks continue. When information becomes known, we will issue an advisory,” it adds.

Fairgrounds, city and county officials had been discussing with the state how the site would be used, if at all, as a source of emergency services. 

At the beginning of the month, the state announced that the nearby Fairview Developmental Center, also in Costa Mesa, would be used as a site to treat overflow patients with low to moderate illness. Around 1,100 new beds are planned for that facility.

The efforts come as Orange County awaits a possible surge in coronavirus cases, and as hospitals both in the county and across the country are straining under crucial supply shortages and medical equipment depletions.

Meanwhile the fairgrounds has all but closed its facilities to the public and cancelled a number of planned concerts and entertainment events, under health guidelines to limit public interactions and nonessential trips outside. 

Brandon Pho is a Voice of OC reporting fellow. Contact him at bpho@voiceofoc.org or on Twitter @photherecord.

Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.