San Diego Declares Emergency Over Coronavirus In ‘Abundance Of Caution’
Friday, February 14, 2020
Photo by Andi Dukleth
San Diego County on Friday declared a local and public health emergency in response to the novel coronavirus.
The move was taken “out of an abundance of caution” and not a response to an increased risk to residents, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said.
By declaring an emergency, it gives the county access to available supplies and mutual aid and allows the county to better respond globally, he said. It also allows the county to tap into state and federal emergency funds, he said.
“We are doing this to best position our county to contain and confront the novel coronavirus, called COVID-19,” Fletcher said.
Currently, there are two confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in the county. There are seven patients under observation at UC San Diego Health because they have symptoms of the disease.
“This an action that is meant to reassure the public that health authorities are proactively working to stay ahead of any challenges that may arise,” county public health officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said.
Starting next week, the county will start monitoring travelers to the United States from non-Hubei Province in China, she said. These travelers, who are deemed low to medium risk, will be home quarantined and self-monitored under the supervision of the county health department.
The emergency declarations will stay in effect for seven days, after which the County Board of Supervisors could extend them for 30 days continuously until the emergency is declared over.
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