ST. LOUIS – Workers peeled down the sign over the entrance to South City Hospital Friday afternoon, revealing the St. Alexius banner underneath.

Quicker than its name changed a few years back, news came late this week the hospital was closing. A sign on the door confirmed it, closing the book on a 154-year history serving the city’s south side.

Donna Randall worked at the hospital for 17 years. She’d just finished visiting some former colleagues Friday afternoon.

“I think they kind of saw it coming, but I think how fast it happened was a real shock for them,” said Randall.

On Thursday, the hospital sent a letter to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, saying the hospital was closing Aug. 4. FOX 2 has learned all the hospital’s patients have now been transferred to other healthcare facilities.

“This is the only emergency room in Southeast City, and it’s another emergency room that’s closing in the city of St. Louis. That’s a huge problem,” said 3rd Ward Alderman Shane Cohn.

The hospital is in Cohn’s ward. He says he’s focused on finding a way to restore a healthcare option for residents in this part of the city.

“[We’re] really trying to evaluate what partnerships can be built, what are the options available to us moving forward and then of course trying to take care of the impacted employees and making sure they find other employment opportunities in St. Louis,” said Cohn.

Dejan worked in environmental services at the hospital. After moving from Croatia to St. Louis more than two decades ago, he’s now moving on from his job.

“I don’t believe it’s closed. I’ve worked here a long time. Lot’s of good friends here. Everybody’s leaving. I don’t believe it,” said Dejan.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones was not available for an interview Friday, but her office shared the following statement:

“I have been briefed regarding the closure of South City Hospital and have been working to minimize its impact on our community. South City Hospital was a healthcare safety net, supporting many uninsured St. Louisans, and our city must grapple with losing this longstanding healthcare anchor. Thursday, I convened a meeting with the leadership of our most highly recognized regional hospital systems, our Health Director, Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, and my staff on this issue. Patients hospitalized at South City Hospital have been routed to those hospitals and will continue to receive excellent care. To the employees affected, my heart goes out to you as this is painful and unexpected news. I also thank you for your tireless efforts to care for the patients of South City Hospital. We are working with our healthcare partners to stand up a job fair so you can continue serving the community. This is a tremendous loss for our community, and we will continue working together with local healthcare providers to deliver resources to those most impacted.”

There’s a lot more to this story involving the property, its owner and the company that’s been managing the hospital. We’re investigating and will keep you updated.