Senators Gonzalez, Umberg, Asm. O'Donnell Urge Governor Newsom to Expedite Emergency Funds for reopening of the Community Hospital of Long Beach to treat COVID-19 pandemic patients

Friday, March 20, 2020

Senators Gonzalez, Umberg, Asm. O’Donnell Urge Governor Newsom to Expedite Emergency Funds for reopening of the Community Hospital of Long Beach to treat COVID-19 pandemic patients

(LONG BEACH) — As cases in Los Angeles County continue to rise, California Senators Lena A. Gonzalez and Tom Umberg, and Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D- Long Beach) sent a letter urging Governor Newsom expedite Emergency Funds to the Community Hospital of Long Beach in an effort to treat COVID-19 patients in the region.

Senator Gonzalez, along with Senator Tom Umberg and Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell, have been working proactively with the Governor’s administration, local legislative leaders, and MWN, LLC to ensure that our region is well equipped with an urgent care facility and resources are deployed to better fight the spread of COVID-19. A copy of the letter is attached.

“Opening CHLB will bring an additional 158 beds online, including 20 intensive care beds and 9 ventilators, to provide urgent care and serve those who need to be isolated and quarantined,” said Senator Gonzalez.  

“I want to thank the Governor’s office for mobilizing the California Department of Public Health to expedite the licensure and reopening of Community Health of Long Beach during this public health emergency.  In addition, I want to urge Governor Newsom to provide Emergency Funds to help operate the hospital,” Senator Gonzalez added.

Los Angeles County health officials confirmed 46 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, March 18, bringing the county’s total to 190 confirmed cases so far. That’s 96 cases over the past 48 hours.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer noted that for every confirmed case, there were likely five-to10 additional people infected that have not been tested and are unaware of our their positive status.

“Reopening Long Beach Community Hospital during this COVID-19 crisis will save lives.  With more infections likely to occur, we need to increase the number of available hospital beds.  Thank you to hospital operator MWN, the City of Long Beach, state health agency officials and the Governor for moving quickly to serve our community,” said Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach).

“I want to thank Senator Gonzalez and the region’s leadership for coming together and cutting the red tape and open the hospital in 48 hours,” said John Molina, Partner, Pacific6 Enterprises. “CHLB is working collaboratively with the Los Angeles Department of Public Health and CDPH to ensure that their plan to reopen contributes to the needs of the region to address the current public health crisis. We would like to ensure there is enough capital to pay employees and provide these critical services.”

“Reopening this facility will provide critical services to the people of Long Beach and the entire region. As a state representative, my office and I are working to address the pressing health care needs of the community,” said Senator Thomas J. Umberg.

Senator Gonzalez added that given the extenuating circumstances brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and the recently announced state of emergency, there is a greater need to be proactive in leveraging existing health facility resources and ensure that we have enough hospital capacity in the Southern California region.

The CHLB is expected to reopen Saturday, March 21, 2020 to treat patients transferred from other hospitals.