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Washington state buys former troubled nursing home as hospital site during coronavirus crisis

A Seattle nursing home, once considered among the worst in the country, will soon re-open to help free up beds in hospitals for coronavirus patients.

SEATTLE — A Seattle nursing home, once considered among the worst in the country, will soon re-open to help free up beds in hospitals for coronavirus patients.

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services just bought the former Paramount Rehabilitation and Nursing property in Seattle’s Central District for $13.5 million.

The facility, which is expected to open in late April or early May, will have as many as 165 beds, and will be used by patients who do not have coronavirus but are currently in hospitals, DSHS said.

“The idea here is to clear up some hospital beds for some much-needed space during this crisis,” said Chris Wright, a DSHS spokesperson.

DSHS teams have been going from hospital to hospital, trying to find patients who could get the same level of care in long-term care facilities. So far in March, they've relocated 390 patients, freeing up all those beds to make room for people suffering from coronavirus, Wright said.

KING 5 first reported on Paramount as it was closing in February.

RELATED: Seattle nursing home considered one of the worst in the country is closing

The federal government considered it to be among the worst long-term care facilities in the country, with dozens of health code violations.

Now, the state is giving it a makeover.

DSHS is looking for a company to operate the nursing home. They expect to hire about a hundred people, including nurses, cooks, caregivers, maintenance workers, and managers, Wright said.

Most patients who use the facility will have their expenses covered by Medicaid, Wright said.

RELATED: Real-time updates: Washington coronavirus outbreak