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Governor: Coronavirus changing 'by the hour' in California

As the number of cases and urgency around the coronavirus increases, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that California is on high alert and working closely with the federal government on the return of Americans from overseas.

But in a state that has more people in quarantine than any other, many questions remain unanswered. Plans on where to house infected patients are not clear, local governments are declaring emergencies and at least one lawmaker said he's getting "radio silence" from the governor's administration.

"This changes quite literally by the hour," Newsom said Wednesday. "As of last count, 31 people have been identified as having the coronavirus in the state of California and have gone through the repatriation process and are in various states of health."

Newsom's comment illustrated the uncertainty and rapid change around the issue.

His updated number differs from that currently being reported by the state's public health department, which is publicly reporting only 10 cases in the state. Soon after his comment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also confirmed a new California case that is the first example of coronavirus transmitted from person to person in the general public and not related to travel.

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That person is a resident of Solano County, where hundreds of people have been quarantined over the last few weeks. The patient is receiving medical care in Sacramento County, the state's public health department said.

"There's no other state in America that has been more involved in addressing the issue," Newsom said.

Hundreds of Americans being repatriated from Wuhan, China, where the virus was first identified, and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, a ship that was quarantined in Japan after people tested positive for Coronavirus, were placed under mandatory quarantine, many of them in California.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 60 cases as of late Wednesday. This total seems to only take into account the 10 cases being reported by the state.

In early February, 234 people were evacuated from China and sent to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield. Those people have completed their 14 day quarantine. Later, about 300 people who were evacuated from the cruise ship arrived at the same base, although some of those people were transferred to another military base in Texas. Of those passengers from the cruise ship, 14 were infected.

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As concern grows, California communities are increasingly declaring local health emergencies.

On Wednesday, Orange County declared a local health emergency, following on San Francisco's footsteps. San Diego and Santa Clara counties also have issued similar emergency declarations. This allows communities to roll out an accelerated emergency preparedness plan.

"Although there are still zero confirmed cases in San Francisco residents, the global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to step-up preparedness," San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

The reaction of communities echoes the growing concern by federal health officials who say further spread of the virus in the U.S. is expected. Earlier this week, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters that spread of the virus was a matter of time. In a press conference with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, however, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director at CDC, said, "The trajectory of what we're looking at over the weeks and months ahead is very uncertain."

But perhaps an even more time-sensitive concern is where to place patients who are under quarantine in the state and test positive for the virus.

People at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, who test positive for the virus can't stay at the base because there is no place for them to be properly isolated. Instead they are being sent to hospitals in Northern California counties, including Napa, Contra Costa and Sonoma, even if they're not showing symptoms. There, they are placed in isolation in specialized rooms until they are cleared from infection.

The current setup could place a burden on local hospitals, said California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly and the Director of the state's Office of Emergency Services Mark Ghilarducci in a letter sent Tuesday to Alex Azar, the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary.

In the letter Ghaly and Ghilarducci said they are committed to finding a location to place California residents, but want the federal government to come up with a plan for non-California residents. About 70 of a reported 156 people at Travis Air Force Base are California residents.

Federal officials were considering a facility in Anniston, Alabama to house infected patients, but after the Republican governor and others protested, President Donald Trump assured them that Alabama would not receive any of these patients, raising questions about political favoritism.

"With the Anniston, Alabama site being placed on hold, we do have significant concerns that there is no alternative plan from the federal government," the California letter said.

"We request that your team immediately provide us with information relative to any alternative plans for non-California residents. As more individuals test positive at Travis Air Force Base, the urgency to have alternative plans implemented grows," the letter says.

Last Friday, California planned to move state residents who tested positive for the virus to the Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa, an empty state-owned facility. City officials blocked the move with a restraining order from a federal judge and a decision that is still pending.

State Sen. John Moorlach, a Republican who represents Costa Mesa, on Wednesday sent a letter to Newsom seeking answers.

"Without having been consulted until after your Administration recommended (Fairview Developmental Center) to the federal government, I have been working hard to provide answers," Moorlach wrote in his letter.

Moorlach said that last Thursday he got a call notifying him that 16 patients would be transferred to the Costa Mesa facility. "And after that, it's been radio silence," Moorlach told CalMatters.

"We're not trying to be obstructionists, we're looking for answers," he said.

CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California's policies and politics. Read more state news from CALmatters here. Ana B. Ibarra can be emailed at ab_ibarra@calmatters.org.

Related content:

After 14 days in coronavirus quarantine, mother and daughter return home to Palo Alto

Santa Clara County man recovers from coronavirus

-

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Governor: Coronavirus changing 'by the hour' in California

by /

Uploaded: Thu, Feb 27, 2020, 1:39 pm

As the number of cases and urgency around the coronavirus increases, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that California is on high alert and working closely with the federal government on the return of Americans from overseas.

But in a state that has more people in quarantine than any other, many questions remain unanswered. Plans on where to house infected patients are not clear, local governments are declaring emergencies and at least one lawmaker said he's getting "radio silence" from the governor's administration.

"This changes quite literally by the hour," Newsom said Wednesday. "As of last count, 31 people have been identified as having the coronavirus in the state of California and have gone through the repatriation process and are in various states of health."

Newsom's comment illustrated the uncertainty and rapid change around the issue.

His updated number differs from that currently being reported by the state's public health department, which is publicly reporting only 10 cases in the state. Soon after his comment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also confirmed a new California case that is the first example of coronavirus transmitted from person to person in the general public and not related to travel.

That person is a resident of Solano County, where hundreds of people have been quarantined over the last few weeks. The patient is receiving medical care in Sacramento County, the state's public health department said.

"There's no other state in America that has been more involved in addressing the issue," Newsom said.

Hundreds of Americans being repatriated from Wuhan, China, where the virus was first identified, and from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, a ship that was quarantined in Japan after people tested positive for Coronavirus, were placed under mandatory quarantine, many of them in California.

Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 60 cases as of late Wednesday. This total seems to only take into account the 10 cases being reported by the state.

In early February, 234 people were evacuated from China and sent to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield. Those people have completed their 14 day quarantine. Later, about 300 people who were evacuated from the cruise ship arrived at the same base, although some of those people were transferred to another military base in Texas. Of those passengers from the cruise ship, 14 were infected.

As concern grows, California communities are increasingly declaring local health emergencies.

On Wednesday, Orange County declared a local health emergency, following on San Francisco's footsteps. San Diego and Santa Clara counties also have issued similar emergency declarations. This allows communities to roll out an accelerated emergency preparedness plan.

"Although there are still zero confirmed cases in San Francisco residents, the global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to step-up preparedness," San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement.

The reaction of communities echoes the growing concern by federal health officials who say further spread of the virus in the U.S. is expected. Earlier this week, officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told reporters that spread of the virus was a matter of time. In a press conference with President Donald Trump on Wednesday, however, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director at CDC, said, "The trajectory of what we're looking at over the weeks and months ahead is very uncertain."

But perhaps an even more time-sensitive concern is where to place patients who are under quarantine in the state and test positive for the virus.

People at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, who test positive for the virus can't stay at the base because there is no place for them to be properly isolated. Instead they are being sent to hospitals in Northern California counties, including Napa, Contra Costa and Sonoma, even if they're not showing symptoms. There, they are placed in isolation in specialized rooms until they are cleared from infection.

The current setup could place a burden on local hospitals, said California Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly and the Director of the state's Office of Emergency Services Mark Ghilarducci in a letter sent Tuesday to Alex Azar, the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary.

In the letter Ghaly and Ghilarducci said they are committed to finding a location to place California residents, but want the federal government to come up with a plan for non-California residents. About 70 of a reported 156 people at Travis Air Force Base are California residents.

Federal officials were considering a facility in Anniston, Alabama to house infected patients, but after the Republican governor and others protested, President Donald Trump assured them that Alabama would not receive any of these patients, raising questions about political favoritism.

"With the Anniston, Alabama site being placed on hold, we do have significant concerns that there is no alternative plan from the federal government," the California letter said.

"We request that your team immediately provide us with information relative to any alternative plans for non-California residents. As more individuals test positive at Travis Air Force Base, the urgency to have alternative plans implemented grows," the letter says.

Last Friday, California planned to move state residents who tested positive for the virus to the Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa, an empty state-owned facility. City officials blocked the move with a restraining order from a federal judge and a decision that is still pending.

State Sen. John Moorlach, a Republican who represents Costa Mesa, on Wednesday sent a letter to Newsom seeking answers.

"Without having been consulted until after your Administration recommended (Fairview Developmental Center) to the federal government, I have been working hard to provide answers," Moorlach wrote in his letter.

Moorlach said that last Thursday he got a call notifying him that 16 patients would be transferred to the Costa Mesa facility. "And after that, it's been radio silence," Moorlach told CalMatters.

"We're not trying to be obstructionists, we're looking for answers," he said.

CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California's policies and politics. Read more state news from CALmatters here. Ana B. Ibarra can be emailed at ab_ibarra@calmatters.org.

Related content:

After 14 days in coronavirus quarantine, mother and daughter return home to Palo Alto

Santa Clara County man recovers from coronavirus

-

Comments

voter
Old Mountain View
on Feb 27, 2020 at 7:16 pm
voter, Old Mountain View
on Feb 27, 2020 at 7:16 pm
15 people like this

Don't worry. Donald Trump says that Mike Pence will take care of the virus for a fraction of the money that California is asking for.


Chilling
Rex Manor
on Feb 27, 2020 at 7:22 pm
Chilling, Rex Manor
on Feb 27, 2020 at 7:22 pm
9 people like this

And he's cutting money from the CDC and Medicare.


Terry
Sylvan Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 10:52 pm
Terry, Sylvan Park
on Feb 27, 2020 at 10:52 pm
25 people like this

Trump is an expert on viruses - being one himself. Trump may next claim the Coronavirus comes from Corona beer which may use Mexican water. We need to ban the importation of Corona beer and make Mexico pay for any lost income to friends of Trump.


The Business Man
Castro City
on Feb 28, 2020 at 10:37 am
The Business Man, Castro City
on Feb 28, 2020 at 10:37 am
4 people like this

Has anyone seen the movie “Contagion”

The reality is the first global impact is the economy. It will fall apart as long as there is no conclusive proof that the disease is under control. Control defined as we having a vaccine and have distributed it to every person in the world, or enough to make the disease not a threat.

Problem, viruses mutate and can in less than a day, thus one vaccine may only work for a window of time.

Now lets look at the “stock” market. It is going down because when it really comes down to it, a dollar is just a dollar, but life and death is a superior force to money.

And the stock market is thinking, oh, if the feds drop interest rates we will be fine. REALLY, interest rates cannot fix a pandemic or epidemic of a disease with as much as a 2% mortality. Meaning 2 out of 100 who get it dies.

WHERE was the efficient process to deal with this kind of problem? The poor and incredibly inefficient health care system we have in this country is showing how flawed it is.

I suggest everyone get out of their homes and enjoy the company of each other before there are curfews and martial laws placed to isolate the people. That is the only way to prevent spread of a disease that you cannot even track.


Hank
Sylvan Park
on Feb 28, 2020 at 6:35 pm
Hank, Sylvan Park
on Feb 28, 2020 at 6:35 pm
5 people like this

This issue has a new meaning of urgency, since another case has just been confirmed in El Camni Hospital, our backyard.


Placebos
another community
on Feb 29, 2020 at 5:54 am
Placebos, another community
on Feb 29, 2020 at 5:54 am
2 people like this

I understand trying to keep mass hysteria down, but they need to come forthright with all the information and plan for the public. It’s only a matter of time it spreads now that it’s confirmed people contracted from unknown origin... some asymptomatic people are spreading it around unknowingly.
Be mindful of what you touch and improve your health.


45 be heeded
another community
on Feb 29, 2020 at 7:04 am
45 be heeded, another community
on Feb 29, 2020 at 7:04 am
4 people like this

Less than 12 hours ago, the President called the whole thing a HOAX.

It's silly. That's why Donald Trump appointed Pence to run the whole thing. So silly that Pence's first action was to fly to Florida (for a fundraiser.)

Stop worrying, folks. We're cutting budgets for the CDC, Medicare etc.. Web Link

Quit whining. 45 knows all.


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