A water main break that occurred during the weekend at Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center was not expected to be fixed until at least Saturday, prompting the temporary closure of the facility, officials said Wednesday morning.
The break occurred Sunday night, cutting off water to the medical center at 5601 De Soto Ave., near the Ventura (101) Freeway, and forcing staff to cancel surgeries and doctors' appointments.
A temporary water line has been installed, but the facility has not been able to return to normal operations as expected, medical center spokesman Terry Kanakri said.
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"Because the timeline for restoring water at the medical center campus is now estimated to be Saturday, Jan. 25, we have determined that the safest decision for our members, patients, physicians and staff is to temporarily close services and facilities at this location," Kanakri said.
"We are working closely with state and local agencies to achieve this temporary closure."
Steps to close the medical center campus began Tuesday and were scheduled to be completed later Wednesday.
Urgent care services ceased at 9 p.m. Tuesday and the emergency department was closed as of 11 p.m., Kanakri said.
"All Woodland Hills patients and members will be redirected to the closest hospitals for emergency care," he said.
Only a few patients have been admitted to the hospital since the situation began, Kanakri said.
"With the normal planned discharges, along with planned transfers to neighboring hospitals by the end of the day (Wednesday), there will be no patients left in the hospital," Kanakri said.
The 24-hour pharmacy on campus will remain open for prescription pickup only. The Northside Pharmacy is closed, he said.
"Once Kaiser Permanente completes all required testing of the temporary water line and it has been deemed safe, we will reopen services and resume care at our Woodland Hills Medical Center campus," Kanakri said. "We anticipate this could occur as early as Saturday, Jan. 25."
Patients who have questions can call Kaiser at 833-KP4-CARE or 833-576-
2273. Additional information is also available Kp.org/woodlandhills.
"We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience the campus temporary closure may cause to our members, patients, physicians, staff and community," Kanakri said.