Los Angeles

Shuttered St. Vincent's to Reopen as ‘Surge' Hospital for Coronavirus Patients

Following weeks of discussions, one of LA's oldest hospitals will reopen Monday.

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After weeks of discussion amid a possible ownership change, the shuttered St. Vincent Medical Center in the Westlake District is expected to open Monday as an overflow facility to treat coronavirus cases.

According to Gov. Gavin Newsom, the hospital will have up to 266 beds available as a “surge” facility. Newsom said last month the state was in talks to lease the hospital, but a deal hadn't been finalized. The hospital will work in cooperation with Kaiser Permanente and Dignity Health.

Newsom said the lease is part of a statewide effort to add 50,000 beds to the state's existing hospital capacity of 75,000 beds.

County Supervisor Hilda Solis, whose district includes St. Vincent Medical Center, said the county will work with Dignity and Kaiser to provide “transportation, referrals and other support” for the hospital's operation.

“Once operational, the Los Angeles Surge Hospital at St. Vincent will serve the region with the primary mission of increasing hospital capacity to care for patients with COVID-19, which will help slow the spread of this virus,” Solis said in a statement.

Nonprofit Verity Health System announced in January that a proposed sale of the hospital in the Westlake District had fallen through, and the facility would be closing.

Verity filed court papers seeking authority to close the medical center at 2131 W. Third St. Verity Health was working through Chapter 11 bankruptcy and had hoped to transfer ownership of the hospital and three other medical centers.

Los Angeles County offered a bid for the hospital in early February, and the city was also contemplating purchasing it. St. Vincent had 366 beds at the time it was closed.

Last week, Los Angeles Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong's family foundation announced a bid to purchase the facility for $135 million and turn it into a hospital for coronavirus patients and research.

However, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra claimed in a court filing that the nonprofit should not be the purchaser of the property, and Soon-Shiong said he would be willing to buy it with his personal wealth, according to the Times.

County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said Monday that International Medical Corps tents with additional beds for coronavirus patients will also be established at Olive View-UCLA and County-USC medical centers.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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