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California Adds Beds To Help LA’s Overburdened Hospitals Fight COVID-19

A health care worker in the Mobile Isolation Unit at the VA hospital in Westwood. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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To help overstretched hospitals pull back from the brink of a systemwide meltdown, he state is adding beds at one L.A. hospital and reopening another local facility that had closed a few years ago. The moves will add 263 beds to the region.

The California Department of Public Health and the Office of Emergency Management have teamed up to add regular beds and ICU beds at Pacifica Hospital of the Valley in Sun Valley. They’re also reopening Pacific Gardens Medical Center in Hawaiian Gardens, which shut its doors in Jan. 2017.

“We’re really excited about it,” said Cathy Chidester, director of the L.A. County Emergency Management Services Agency.

“They can be a regional resource to transfer some of these patients to offload hospitals that are very, very stressed right now,” she said.

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L.A.’s hospitals have been stressed since the largest surge of the pandemic began in November, and only recently started to edge downward.

The situation became so dire in December and early January that administrators warned of the imminent implementation of “crisis care,” where only patients more likely to live would receive treatment.


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