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San Diego Board of Supervisors extends coronavirus emergencies

mcas miramar coronavirus evacuees_1.png
Posted at 3:06 PM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 20:11:45-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego's Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to extend a local and public health emergency in response to the coronavirus.

The board cautioned that extending the emergencies did not indicate that the general public faced any higher risk of the virus.

"Today's vote reaffirmed the County of San Diego's decisive action on Friday to declare a local emergency and local health emergency was the right one," Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said in a statement. "While these actions do not signify any increase in risk to our residents, it does clearly signify our vigilance and commitment to doing everything we can to protect the public."

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The two declarations give San Diego leaders the ability to seek mutual aid, potential reimbursement for their response, ensure resources to first responders and hospitals, stock pile medical supplies and hospital beds, and access to state and federal emergency funds if necessary.

“We have heard myriad concerns from people and organizations throughout the County of San Diego,” said Wilma Wooten, San Diego 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.”

Last week, supervisors declared local and public health emergencies over the virus, after two evacuees brought to MCAS Miramar from Wuhan, China, tested positive for the illness.

Tuesday, about 160 evacuees were released after they completed their 14-day quarantine at the base. A second group of evacuees are expected to be released from quarantine sometime this week.

After the evacuees are released, the county said it will focus on monitoring travelers arriving in the U.S. from provinces in China other than Hubei.

Currently, there are a total of seven patients being tested for novel coronavirus. Six people have tested negative and one person is waiting for test results to return. None of the patients have needed to be hospitalized.

County health officials say these individuals will be under home quarantine and self-monitored under their supervision.