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LA Convention Center Being Prepared To Quarantine Coronavirus Patients

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles Convention Center is being prepared to be turned into a possible quarantine center for recovering coronavirus patients after they are released from hospitals.

In a news conference Thursday, L.A. County Health Services Director Christina Ghaly confirmed that the county and city of L.A. were working together to prepare the convention center to be used to provide "non-licensed" care to patients, such as the homeless, who may not have a place to go after they're released from the hospital, but still need to remain in isolation.

"The federal medical service supply that has been distributed to L.A. County is in the process of being investigated for deployment in the L.A. Convention Center," Ghaly said. "Once that's deployed in that setting, the city, working in partnership with the county, will be staffing it for a very non-licensed level of care. So for quarantine and isolation of individuals, for example, after they're released from the hospital, don't have a place to go to complete their quarantine and isolation, but no longer need acute level of care."

California Governor Newsom Issues "Stay At Home" Order To Curb Spread Of Coronavirus
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 20: The Los Angeles Convention Center stands idle after new restrictions went into effect as the coronavirus pandemic spreads on March 20, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statewide stay at home order for Californias 40 million residents except for necessary activities in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

There was no word on when the 720,000-square-foot convention center could open to patients. CBS2 was told that equipment could arrive as soon as Saturday.

"We're in the process of working out the transfer protocols, the staffing and the supplies, with the city in the lead role on that. But that's the intended use of that facility," Ghaly said.

In the same briefing, Ghaly said L.A. County currently has 208 ICU beds available and open, and another 830 ventilators available as well. She reiterated that those numbers are changing.

L.A. County reported 421 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the county's total to 1,216, including 21 deaths.


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