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State Says It Will Renovate the California Youth Authority in Norwalk for Non-COVID Patients


california youth authority


Three weeks ago Hews Media Group-Cerritos News exclusively reported that the Department of State Hospitals planned to re-open  the California Youth Authority facility In Norwalk to house COVID-19 negative patients.

This past week, the state exercised ‘Emergency Powers’ in effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and informed Norwalk  its plans to renovate and possibly re-open the California Youth Authority facility located on Bloomfield Avenue. The facility, which has been closed since 2011, is to be utilized by DHS as a temporary satellite facility. This action was initiated to mitigate the effects of “surge space” at local state hospitals.

Norwalk officials were informed of plans to house primarily COVID-negative patients. Currently, the Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk houses forensic inmates who are defined as individuals who have been charged with or convicted of criminal behavior related to their mental illness.

Prior plans made by Norwalk officials for the facility have been placed on hold. Metropolitan State Hospital officials have informed the city that their plans will not interfere with any possible future development plans at that location, despite being restricted by the state’s “emergency powers” due to the pandemic.

“At this time, there is no legal recourse to prevent the use of this facility by the state, however, the city council has passed an ordinance that requires public agencies to consult with the city prior to placing a homeless or COVID-19 facility in Norwalk,” said Mayor Jennifer Perez. “The city council has authorized staff to meet and confer with representatives of the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) to ensure safety measures are in place, that an exit strategy is clearly outlined and that Norwalk residents are informed prior to the housing of any patients.”

City officials have indicated that a virtual town hall will take place to inform the residents of the possible re-opening of the CYA facility. The meeting with residents will take place on Thursday, September 10 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. A toll-free number has been set up for the event. Residents are instructed to call (844) 767-5679, with an access code 5569747. City officials anticipate a large meeting wherein Department of State Hospital officials will provide more detailed information, and answer questions or concerns from the residents.

“During these unprecedented times, it is important that there be cooperation between local, county, and state government,” added Perez. “The safety of our community members is central to the efforts of the city council. We want to ensure to every resident that we are committed to providing optimum security possible to maintain the quality of life for every Norwalk family.”

Residents are being informed that they should direct all inquiries to the Metropolitan State Hospital’s Public Information Officer, Claudine Hanna, at [email protected].


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