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Shuttered San Clemente Hospital Could Reopen To Treat Coronavirus Patients

California Gov. Gavin Newsom says that the state has 75,000 hospital beds, but needs 50,000 more to be able to handle the coronavirus outbreak.

SAN CLEMENTE (CBSLA) – With California looking at a potential shortage of hospital beds in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state is considering reopening a San Clemente hospital.

Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairmwoman Michelle Steel reported Monday that state officials are looking into reopening of the 73-bed Saddleback Hospital, which was closed back in 2016.

The city reached a deal with MemorialCare Health System in June of 2019 which gave MemorialCare one year to either reopen the hospital or sell it, according to Steel.

“The re-opening of this hospital would be a positive step in the right direction, and I urge the state to act quickly so we can have as many resources at our disposal to save lives,” Steel wrote in a statement.

On Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the state has 75,000 hospital beds, but needs 50,000 more to be able to handle the coronavirus outbreak. He is asking hospitals across the state to add 30,000 beds, and says the state will supply the remaining 20,000.

FEMA has already helped set up a 250-bed mobile hospital at the Riverside County Fairgrounds, while the 1,000-bed Naval hospital ship USNS Mercy is on its way to Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, 242 rooms at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel in Pomona will be used to house coronavirus patients or those who may have been exposed to the virus and need to self-isolate.