By CBSLA Staff

NORWALK (CBSLA) – In an attempt to provide relief for Los Angeles-area hospitals which have been overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic, an alternate care site has opened in Norwalk to provide treatment for COVID-19 patients who no longer need to be hospitalized, but still require care.

Nurses attend to patients in a COVID-19 intensive care unit at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital on Jan. 6, 2021, in the Willowbrook neighborhood of Los Angeles. (Getty Images)

The Norwalk facility will provide treatment for older or disabled coronavirus patients who no longer need to be hospitalized, “but are not yet ready to return to their previous facilities,” the California Department of Social Services announced Monday.

READ MORE: Magnitude-3.7 Earthquake Hits Near Anza

It is one of six such temporary residential alternate care sites that have already opened statewide. Norwalk’s is by far be the largest, with an 80-bed capacity. As of Jan. 5, it was providing care for 42 patients.

READ MORE: Xavier Pabon, Samer Jayylusi Charged With Hate Crime In Attack On Jewish Diners Outside Beverly Grove Sushi Restaurant

“The residents of adult and senior care facilities and are among California’s most vulnerable and are at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19,” CDSS Director Kim Johnson said in a statement. “During this unprecedented surge, these new temporary sites will help free up our hospitals and nursing facilities to care for those with the most acute needs, while providing residents a place to receive needed care and treatment as they recover from COVID-19.”

Los Angeles County hospitals have been among the hardest hit in the nation by the pandemic. As of Tuesday morning, there were at least 7,926 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in L.A. County, according to state numbers. Of those, 21.7% were in ICU beds.

MORE NEWS: Coroner Confirms Remains Found Are Gabby Petito’s, Says Manner Of Death Is A Homicide As Search Resumes For Brian Laundrie

Southern California as a whole has had an ICU capacity of zero over the past several weeks, and it remains under a regional stay-at-home order.