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Local officials ask state to consider opening hospital at Long Beach medical center site


State Sen. Todd Kaminsky and Assemblywomen Missy Miller are asking the state to consider opening up a hospital at the Long Beach Medical Center, amid the rise of coronavirus cases on the barrier island.

In a letter to state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, Kaminsky and Miller asked Zucker to reassess the feasibility of reopening a hospital at the LBMC site, which has been closed since Hurricane Sandy. They wrote that the hospital presents a “clear opportunity to expand capacity for both virus patients and vulnerable populations dealing with chronic health issues." This comes shortly after the Long Beach Board of Education and other community members wrote letters asking the state to expand medical capacities on the barrier island.

“With more than 4,000 cases to date, Nassau County is a battleground in the fight against Covid-19, and the rapid spread of this contagion is already challenging its ability to hospitalize both infected patients and those with other serious maladies," the letter stated.

Kaminsky and Miller argued that the 100,000-square-foot property already has the infrastructure to facilitate a reopening. They noted that the administration of Mount Sinai South Nassau, which owns the building, said that minor work, such as a new HVAC system and the replacement of windows, could have the hospital functional again.

As many health experts expect the coronavirus caseload to increase, the two officials are asking the state to invest in a long-term structure rather than a temporary one.

“The residents of Long Beach were concerned to see their hospital closed," Kaminsky and Miller wrote, "and, in light of its dense and large elderly population, they would welcome an expansion of medical facilities on the barrier island.”