Illustration of 2019 novel coronavirus
Image Credit: CDC
By José A. Álvarez, County of San Diego Communications Office
Feb. 20, 2020 (San Diego) - The Board of Supervisors yesterday voted to ratify the County’s declaration of a local health emergency and proclamation a local emergency to deal with the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
The move is meant to reassure the public that local health authorities are proactively working to stay ahead of any challenges that may arise. The local health emergency will last for 30 days, the local emergency for 60 days. The Board will consider whether each action should be extended at its respective time interval.
“We have heard myriad concerns from people and organizations throughout the County of San Diego,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “I want to assure you that the risk to the general public, related to COVID-19, is low at this time.”
Additionally, these actions empower the County Health and Human Services Agency to:
- more effectively respond to COVID-19
- seek and utilize mutual aid
- potentially obtain reimbursement
- ensure that the County’s health professionals and other local stakeholders have all the necessary tools at their disposal, such as N-95 respirators
With the federally mandated quarantine for the evacuees currently at Marines Corps Air Station Miramar coming to an end, the County’s focus is now on monitoring travelers arriving in the U.S. from provinces in China other than Hubei.
Currently, HHSA has seven patients under investigation. Six have tested negative for the virus and one specimen is awaiting test results. None of the patients needed to be hospitalized. New statistics will be released on Fridays.
These medium-risk people will be on home quarantine, self-monitored under the careful supervision of HHSA.