A historic Moncton hospital reopened Monday to take in patients to ease the crowd in the area hospitals hard hit by the coronavirus.
Although Community Hospital Moncton does not accept COVID-19 patients or other walk-in patients, it does provide 11 beds in intensive care units for patients moving from nursing homes and other local hospitals. The facility can accommodate 40 additional patients.
Southern California was recently hit by a surge in coronavirus cases. The intensive care units are full and some ambulances have had to wait up to eight hours to unload patients. On Sunday, the last day for which full data are available, 7,898 coronavirus-positive patients were hospitalized nationwide, 1,627 of them in intensive care.
Officials are concerned they will see an additional surge in hospital admissions by the end of this week or early next week.
With the feared spike appearing to occur in LA County after Christmas, the past week has seen an average of more than 14,000 new coronavirus cases per day, according to the Times tracker. The death toll is also skyrocketing, with an average of 184 new daily deaths over the same period. 85 new deaths were reported in the county on Sunday. Over 26,000 people have died from COVID-19 across the state.
In Moncton, more than 33,000 residents are infected with the virus and more than 400 people have died, according to the city’s tracker. Almost 24,000 have recovered.
“We expect the hospital reopening to have an immediate impact on local capacity and our ability to save lives,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.
The hospital operated for 94 years before closing in 2018 after a report found the facility was in an active earthquake fault. The building now meets all current seismic requirements, according to the operator Molina, Wu, Network.
The California Department of Health last month licensed Molina, Wu, Network, which invested more than $ 6 million to reopen the Community Hospital. With the license, the acute care facility can operate up to 158 beds.
According to a press release, the hospital plans to open its emergency room in March after increasing essential services during the reopening.
Soumya Karlamangla, a Times contributor, contributed to this report.