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City of Long Beach provides update on hospital capacity and supplies

The City of Long Beach is providing an update on current hospital capacity as part of its effort to keep the public informed about its response to COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus disease.

“We are closely monitoring our hospital bed capacity and doing everything we can to expand it,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We are fortunate to have robust partnerships with several Long Beach area hospitals that have quickly adapted to this public health emergency.”

As of April 7, 2020, Long Beach healthcare community partners, including College Medical Center, Lakewood Regional Medical Center, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Los Alamitos Medical Center, Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center, can staff more than 1,500 beds, which includes surge capacity of more than 400 beds. The new field hospital at Long Beach Arena provides an additional 100 beds, should they be needed. This represents an increase of over 500 hospital beds from pre-COVID-19 levels. These numbers are based on currently available staffing and may change over time depending on the progression of the health crisis.

Additionally, Long Beach has taken the following steps to support frontline healthcare workers battling COVID-19:

  • Directly connected all seven hospitals to the City’s Emergency Operations Center for logistical support;
  • Created a daily hospital capacity dashboard for all seven hospitals that monitors how each of the hospitals are doing and allowing the Emergency Operations Center to support them in the event of patient overflow;
  • Supported the reopening of 158-bed Community Hospital through an agreement with the operator, Molina, Wu, Network LLC (MWN). The hospital is expected to open soon and has hired more than 125 personnel, many of whom are former Community Hospital nurses, respiratory therapists, technicians and other employees. Some have left other positions to join this effort

Additionally, the local supply of ventilators is sufficient for current demand, but the City is monitoring the situation closely and will request additional supplies from the State should it be necessary.

Medical providers who need additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may request supplies via the City’s longbeach.gov/COVID19 website, under “Resources for Healthcare Providers.

The City of Long Beach continues to work with MWN and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to re-open Community Hospital. All local requirements have been satisfied and MWN is awaiting licensing and certification from CDPH.

MWN is a partnership between Pacific6 Enterprises, co-founded by former Molina Healthcare CEO John Molina; AHMC Healthcare, a privately held hospital corporation founded by Jonathan Wu; and Network Medical Management, which provides administrative support to medical groups and physicians.

For the past two weeks, Community Hospital staff, at Gov. Gavin Newsom’s request, has worked with the City and the State to prepare the hospital to provide additional beds and resources in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. The hospital has worked in partnership with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to prepare the hospital for licensure. As of the CDPH’s last visit on April 4, hospital officials are expecting the contract and license will be approved within the next few days. Once these are approved, Community Hospital will join other area hospitals on the frontline of caring for residents and the community.

Eleven intensive-care units and 25 med-surgical beds at the facility are ready for patients, and the hospital is aggressively expanding its capacity to ready other units to meet expected needs. The State has also identified that certain patients in skilled nursing facilities are in critical need of being transferred to hospitals; Community Hospital is working to accept some of those patients in Long Beach.

Local government officials, community, businesses, residents and other organizations have rallied behind the hospital’s efforts with a show of strong support. The Community Hospital Foundation has received approximately $50,000 of in-kind support of PPE, equipment, supplies and cash gifts to support the reopening of Community Hospital Long Beach. Almost $2 million has been spent toward the proactive mobilization of resources.

Community Hospital opened in 1924 and accounted for 10% of emergency room visits in recent years, but was closed in 2017 and will soon reopen.

For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep its residents safe, visit: longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This article was released by the City of Long Beach.