Second Group Of Cruise Ship Passengers Set To Arrive At Miramar For Coronavirus Quarantine
Speaker 1: 00:00 Coronavirus and the counties responses, the focus of a new subcommittee of the San Diego board of supervisors. Part of that response includes declaring a County state of emergency, creating more than 80 new handwashing stations across the County and providing a new website for information on the virus. Joining me is the co-chair of the new coven, 19 subcommittee County supervisor Nathan Fletcher. And welcome to the program. Speaker 2: 00:25 Thank you for having me. Speaker 1: 00:26 The world health organization just declared the coven 19 coronavirus a pandemic. Does that change anything about our level of response? Speaker 2: 00:35 Well, the, the declaration the world health organization does was expected and it refers more to the spread of the disease than the severity of the illness that causes, um, it doesn't change immediately what we're doing, but this is a very dynamic and fluid situation. Um, and so we're monitoring and tracking in real times the cases, the testing, the situation on the ground and we'll provide regular updates to the public on exactly what we in San Diego are asking them to do based on the conditions we see in San Diego. Um, but I will add that, that we do take this very seriously. Um, and we are doing everything within our power to try and mitigate or lessen the, uh, the spread and the impact of Corona virus. Speaker 1: 01:13 In the briefing yesterday, did health officials say they had enough testing kits for the County? What's the status on that? Speaker 2: 01:20 Well, I don't think anyone feels that, that, uh, there is enough testing kits. Um, I think that we have the testing kits that are available and, and we're doing everything that we can to get more. Uh, and we're working with our health partners to prioritize the testing kits that we have. Um, we really want to focus in on vulnerable populations. Um, folks who live in congregate care, care settings, um, folks that have underlying health conditions. Obviously folks that have traveled to affected areas. We're putting in place the best testing protocols and procedures, um, with CDC guidance that we have, uh, based on the availability, the kits and when we're certainly hoping that that availability, um, will significantly increase, um, hopefully very soon. But we are, we're doing all we can to get as many kids as possible. And then we are judiciously using the ones we have, um, in the highest priority to protect public health. Speaker 1: 02:07 Does the creation of this subcommittee mean the County is taking the lead role in guiding all of San Diego's response to the virus? Speaker 2: 02:15 Well, the County by by default is the public health agency and it has regional responsibilities. It was back in January. We held our first, uh, briefing for the public where we talked about what we were seeing with coronavirus along with what we were doing, uh, in a protective fashion to, to hopefully try and lessen its spread. Uh, then of course in February, we were one of the first local jurisdictions to declare a public health emergency and a local health emergency, uh, which gave us a number of tools, uh, to try and prevent it. And you know, at that time a lot of folks said, well, why are you doing this? We don't have any cases. Um, and the reality was it wasn't to create alarm or panic. It was simply because we saw some unique features of this virus in it. It's, it's high rate of spread, it's contagion, um, along with the fact that that individuals can be asymptomatic for a significant period of time, showing no symptoms would be contagious. Speaker 2: 03:06 And because of that, we always feared that the, the, the, the risk of spread, um, was fairly high. And so we have really been proactive to do everything we can. Uh, we've established eight different sectors that we have individual teams dedicated, whether it's tackling it, the challenge of the unsheltered, uh, working with the business community, with senior centers, with schools, uh, with, with our healthcare providers, uh, with the military. Um, and so we're in daily coordination with CDC, with state department of public health, um, and really doing everything we can. And again, I think it's important to note that this will get worse before it gets better. Um, and all of our actions that we're taking are just designed to try and mitigate and lessen the impact and the severity. Speaker 1: 03:46 At what point would the County step into require the cancellation of large events? Speaker 2: 03:51 Well, that's a decision that will be made by our public health doctors. We have an incredible team of infectious disease, experts of public health professionals, and they're tracking in, in real time the situation on the ground, the number of cases, the probability, um, and when they determine we've triggered into that point, um, then we will immediately share that information with the public. Speaker 1: 04:12 I've been speaking with the new co-chair of the coven 19 subcommittee, San Diego County supervisor, Nathan Fletcher. And thank you so much for your time. Thank you.