The shuttered St. Vincent Medical Center in the Westlake district will be turned into a hospital for patients who have contracted the coronavirus, the hospital’s owner announced.
Verity Health System said Friday it will partner with the state government to make the temporary transformation.
“I am pleased that Gov. (Gavin) Newsom is utilizing state resources to repurpose the recently shuttered St. Vincent Medical Center into a COVID-19 treatment facility,” Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell said. “With everything turned upside down due to the coronavirus pandemic, I can’t think of a more timely, urgent purpose for St. Vincent Hospital.”
Verity is also using a hospital in Daly City to treat COVID-19 patients, but the hospital owner has filed for bankruptcy to close its Los Angeles facility.
Under the agreement to use the hospital — approved Friday by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Verity will continue to operate and make beds and services available for assessment and treatment of COVID-19 patients, according to CEO Rich Adcock.
“We are pleased to be able to partner with the state of California to address this pressing public health need,” Adcock said. “We continue to be committed to supporting our staff, our patients and the communities we serve through this challenging time.”
O’Farrell had been pushing to turn the medical center into a shelter for homeless people, but in response to the outbreak the priorities have changed.
The entire 10-acre campus at Third and Alvarado streets may not necessarily be used for treatment of coronavirus patients, O’Farrell said.
The bidding process to acquire St. Vincent Medical Center has been suspended, O’Farrell told City News Service. At least 10 entities are seeking to purchase it, O’Farrell said, including Los Angeles County.
The 381-bed hospital closed on Jan. 24 after being open for more than 164 years.
Newsom also said Saturday that $30 million in emergency funds would go toward leasing the two facilities.
Community Hospital of Long Beach — which closed its doors in 2018 — will be accepting transfer patients from other hospitals to relieve overcrowding associated with the pandemic. The facility has a capacity of 158 beds, and will be accepting patients “in the coming days,” an official said.