COBBLE HILL - Employees at Long Island College Hospital are being told this evening that the facility is closing.

Workers say administrators gave them a direct verbal order earlier today demanding all patients be discharged within the next 24 hours ahead of a complete closure by Sunday. However, SUNY Downstate says it will continue to operate the hospital.

A temporary restraining order was issued in February to prevent a shutdown, but the hospital began taking measures in June, such as diverting ambulances, that suggested other plans were in place.

Elected officials have rallied in support of the hospital, but admit that the end may be near unless a last-minute solution is agreed upon.