By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA)  — A medical center expected to shut down next month is being urged by the Los Angeles City Council to reconsider closing as ICU capacity continues to be low in the county.

Two L.A. City Council members Wednesday urged the operators of Olympia Medical Center to delay its planned closure on March 31 by at least six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The resolution, which was introduced by Councilwoman Nithya Raman and Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, urges Alecto Healthcare, which is selling the hospital to UCLA Health, to work with UCLA to ensure medical care at the hospital, located at 5900 W. Olympic Blvd in the Mid-Wilshire area, remains available during the pandemic.

“There are only a few dozen ICU beds currently available in Los Angeles County, and hospitals near Olympia Medical Center to which patients are being referred are already severely understaffed,” the resolution stated.

Alecto Healthcare announced on December 31 that the hospital would close. According to the motion, the deal with UCLA prevents the hospital from providing care beyond March 31.

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If adopted by the council and approved by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the resolution would not carry any power to keep the hospital open but would have the city on record as urging Alecto Healthcare and UCLA Health to ensure the hospital provides care during the pandemic.

It would also support the County of Los Angeles’ Emergency Medical Services Agency’s efforts to have Alecto Healthcare, UCLA Health, and the Olympia Medical Center delay the closure by at least six months.

According to the council members, the hospital largely serves Black, Latino, and low-income residents, who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The hospital’s staff have reported “severe shortfalls in patient care in anticipation of the closure,” the motion said.

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(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)