As the world continues to be rocked by the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, first responders across the country work tirelessly to coordinate care for people who need it most.

Imperial County, a rural and impoverished region in Southern California with a population of about 180,000 people, has been a hotspot for COVID-19. The county has averaged 900 infections per 100,000 people in the last two weeks, compared with 371 in Los Angeles County. Imperial County also has the highest mortality rate in the state, averaging 28 deaths per 100,000 people. The rate in Los Angeles County is just over five deaths per 100,000 people; in California as a whole, the number is about 19 per 100,000.

Because of the high numbers in Imperial County, local hospitals have been overwhelmed with incredibly sick patients. A lack of space and staff has meant many patients have required transport to hospitals outside the county that have available beds and clinicians. Mercy Air, a subsidiary of Air Methods, established a base in Imperial County to focus on serving residents and bridging the distance between patients and level of care needed. A team that primarily responds to car accidents and other emergencies near the border pivoted their focus to transport COVID-19 patients to hospitals all over the state. Since March, Mercy Air has taken more than 100 COVID-19 patients out of Imperial County for treatment.

Mercy Air in the News

Mercy Air’s dedication to helping the people of Imperial County has not gone unnoticed. In recent weeks, the Los Angeles TimesImperial Valley Press, and Univision have featured the air medical team doing their part to provide care to COVID-19 patients. We are incredibly proud of the dedicated team at Mercy Air, as we are of our crews all over the country that are working hard to support their communities during this unprecedented healthcare crisis