What to Know
- Community Hospital Long Beach will begin receiving transfer patients to free up other hospitals to care for COVID-19 patients.
- The hospital, which originally opened in 1924, closed in 2018.
- Officials planned to reopen the hospital before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Historic Community Hospital Long Beach reopened Monday for the first time in more than two years and will begin receiving transfer patients Monday to free up other hospitals to care for COVID-19 patients.
The hospital, which opened in 1924 and closed in 2018, will have 11 intensive care unit beds and space for 40 other patients. Coronavirus patients will not be admitted.
"The addition of just even dozens of beds is the difference between someone sitting in a parking lot of the back of an ambulance versus being treated in a professional medical environment with professional medical staff," said spokesman Brandon Dowling, of Community Hospital Long Beach.
The hospital is reopening to free up space at other hospitals to care for patients with the coronavirus, according to the Long Beach Joint Information Center.
“With hospitals across our city and state at capacity, this reopening is critical for the safety and care of our community,'' said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “Community Hospital is a local institution and I'm incredibly grateful to our hospital partners and the state for getting it open. We expect the hospital reopening to have an immediate impact on local capacity and our ability to save lives.''
How Long Until Coronavirus Will Cause Peak Hospital Use Across the Country
This interactive chart uses model data provided by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to predict how the coronavirus will affect health care resources in different states. The maximum hospital bed use in some states, such as New York, has already passed while in others it is weeks away. Most states have enough general hospital and ICU beds to meet demand, according to additional data from The Associated Press.
Sources: State hospital bed capacity data from the Associated Press. Model data provided by IHME. Note: The model assumes full social distancing through May 2020.
Credit: Amy O’Kruk/NBC
Nearly 400 people have died from coronavirus-related complications in Long Beach, according to officials. Southern California's ICU capacity is at 0%.
The building closed after it was found to be on an active earthquake fault. The city said the building now meets all seismic requirements.
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.
“We're on track to expand services within the next 90 days and this initial opening allows us to fully ramp up our essential services so that we can provide a comprehensive level of quality care at the hospital,'' said Virg Narbutas, Chief Executive Officer of Community Hospital Long Beach.
The license from the California Department of Public Health allows the hospital to operate up to 158 beds in its acute-care facility, officials said.