Posted on Feb 28, 2020, 2 p.m.
Orange County, California has declared a local health emergency in response to the coronavirus, and the county may now be set to start testing patients exhibiting flu-like symptoms for COVID-19.
The announcement is in response to a proposal to move patients with coronavirus to a facility in Costa Mesa. However, the proposal has created a court battle, and at the center of the dispute is the proposal to use the Fairview Development Center as a quarantine site, this is what drew fierce and swift condemnation from officials representing the area.
“The county of Orange continues to support Costa Mesa in opposition of state and federal government’s decision to move COVID-19 patients to the Fairview Center,” Andrew Do the Vice Chairman of the Board of Supervisors said. But he notes that transportation of patients to these locations does not “preserve the health of our community,” of over 3 million people.
Costa Mesa has requested a temporary restraining order from a federal judge that has blocked plans to send coronavirus patients to the center, the status of which will be decided on March 2, 2020. US District Judge Josephine Staton has ordered officials to meet to answer specific questions about how the center was chosen.
Declaration of local emergency and local health emergency is intended to prepare not panic the community as this allows opportunity for officials to ask for mutual aid from country, state, and federal partners in the event resources become exhausted, and creates better leveraging of resources for staffing and agency coordination.
“With 60 U.S. cases of coronavirus, we are facing a real-life crisis that must be managed,” Orange County Supervisor Donald P. Wagner said. “I support an emergency declaration, not because I necessarily believe the public is in more danger, but because the federal and state governments refuse to give us enough information to discharge our public health responsibilities. We want to be vigilant in ensuring the county is prepared and has sufficient resources to prevent and combat any possible outbreak of COVID-19.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles says the city is also taking precautions to monitor spread of the coronavirus, “The city of Los Angeles will continue to be proactive and take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and I commend our city and county response agencies for their hard work to keep us safe. My office is working closely with federal, state and county agencies to monitor the situation.”
In breaking news the FDA has announced the first drug shortage due to the coronavirus, which underscores the importance of securing a medical supply chain now. “We will do everything possible to mitigate the shortage,” the agency said in a news release.
“The situation seems to have evolved quickly; the agency seemed pretty confident in statements a week ago that there was little near term risk. This may underscore the complexity of the supply chain and the challenge of knowing where all downstream ingredients are sourced,” said Scott Gottlieb, MD on his twitter feed.
Gottlieb has been warning for months about the possibility of this virus spreading to America. Here is a 6 minute video of an interview where he talks about those who may be more vulnerable, the likely unknown spread, and the current lack of American diagnostic capability: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rel6TDmAnbE “We’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg.”
It would have been great if the interview was longer, or if the people at the news station stopped interrupting and let him speak. For those waiting on a vaccine, here is a direct quote from the Interview: “A vaccine might not offer sustained protection. You may get reinfected with it”. You can view a partial list of the vaccines and therapies for COVID-19 that are in development by clicking here.
Other countries appear to have far better diagnostic capabilities than America does, such as over in the United Kingdom where they have implemented random coronavirus testing for those displaying flu symptoms as part of their protective measures to slow the momentum of spread.
Over in Geneva the Swiss Government has announced an immediate ban on all private and public events in the country involving over 1,000 people as part of their protective measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.