Seton Medical Center in Daly City begins accepting coronavirus patients

File Photo. The Seton Medical Center on December 9, 2017 in Daly City, Calif. Photo Copyright: Duncan Sinfield. (Duncan Sinfield)

Daly City's Seton Medical Center began accepting novel coronavirus patients Wednesday as the California Health and Human Services Agency attempts to bolster the state's health care capacity.

Seton Medical Center can accept up to 220 coronavirus patients, according to the state HHSA. Verity Health System, which filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and announced plans to close Seton Medical Center earlier this year, will operate the facility on the state's behalf.

"California will continue to do our part to expand our capacity to respond to a potential surge in (coronavirus) patients," Gov. Gavin Newsom said. "It is also important that each and every Californian do their part by staying home and practicing social distancing. We can get through this together if we all do our part."

Newsom announced the lease last week to the applause of state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, who had argued that closing the hospital would make it harder for the roughly 27,000 people who use Seton Medical Center each year to access health care.

The closure would have also left the facility's roughly 1,500 workers without a job. The state plans to lease the facility for three months.