The hospital in Keokuk closed permanently at 7 a.m. today.

Blessing Health System bought the hospital in Keokuk last year from UnityPoint. The facility needs millions of dollars in repairs and patient traffic has dwindled, so Blessing Health executives announced earlier this month that it would close. The hospital’s 147 employees will stay on the payroll through November 4th. Some are going to work in other Blessing Health facilities and others are on paid leave.

Keokuk has had a hospital for well over a century. The city’s first hospital opened in 1892. During the Civil War, a military hospital in Keokuk treated soldiers from both sides of the conflict.

The original announcement from Blessing Health indicated the current hospital in Keokuk would close at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, but the hospital’s website says it already has been closed and anyone with a medical emergency should call 911.

Radio Iowa