First in March and now again this winter, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced hospitals and healthcare facilities to find larger spaces to operate amid surges of new cases. A number of cities — including Chicago and New York City — have turned non-medical facilities, such as convention centers and hotels, into facilities to handle the growing numbers of patients. In the case of one California city, a hospital looking for more space for patients has turned to an actual medical facility.
The historic Community Hospital Long Beach has been granted a license to reopen, and it began receiving transfer patients recently to free up other hospitals to care for COVID-19 patients, according to ABC 7. The hospital, which opened in 1924 and closed in 2018, now has 11 intensive care unit beds and space for 40 other patients, but coronavirus patients will not be admitted.
The hospital is intended to free up space at other hospitals to care for patients with the coronavirus, according to the Long Beach Joint Information Center.
Officials planned to reopen the hospital before the COVID-19 pandemic began, and $6 million has been put toward that goal in the past 18 months, officials said. The money has funded maintenance, equipment replacement, supplies, utility systems and refurbishments to the exterior facade and interior rooms, according to officials.
The hospital will keep expanding its services, and in March 2021 an emergency department is set to open.
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