California to lease hospital in Westlake District to address COVID-19 outbreak in LA County

WESTLAKE DISTRICT, LOS ANGELES -- An unoccupied hospital in the Westlake District will be leased by California to help address the outbreak of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County.

Verity Health System of California announced in a statement on Friday that the state will lease the facility for an unspecified amount, though it's unclear if the hospital will be used to house and treat those infected the with the virus.

The hospital, located at 3rd and Alvarado streets, is in the Los Angeles council district represented by Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who expressed his approval of the agreement in a statement.

"With everything turned upside down due to the coronavirus pandemic, I can't think of a more timely, urgent purpose for St Vincent Hospital in the 13th District. I commend the Governor for taking this action and in his handling of the crisis so far. I am here to assist in this effort in any way possible," O'Farrell said.

In January, Verity announced plans to close the facility after filing for bankruptcy in August 2018 and a failed attempt to sell the hospital system. Hundreds of patients and employees were left in limbo, though Verity said the patients would be transferred to nearby facilities.

Under the agreement, the state is also leasing a medical center in Northern California's Daly City to treat COVID-19 patients.