Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger has authored a motion to ask county supervisors at their March 4 meeting to request federal funds to help the county address the threat from novel coronavirus or COVID-2019.
“Los Angeles County has been diligently working to monitor any potential cases of coronavirus while providing rapid information to the public,” said Barger, who represents the county’s Fifth District, which includes the Santa Clarita Valley.
“This funding is necessary to support our efforts and ensure the ongoing protection of our residents,” Barger said. “We will remain vigilant and leave no stone unturned to limit the potential spread of the virus.”
Since January, the county’s Department of Public Health has been coordinating response activities throughout Los Angeles County and planning for the additional cases and possible local transmission.
This response requires enormous resources to support coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, implementation of federal directives to quarantine and monitor high-risk and medium-risk travelers; training for health care providers and first responders; laboratory testing; providing personal protective equipment required; and expansive community outreach and education efforts in multiple languages.
In addition, DPH has established a screening call center to contact more than 1,700 asymptomatic Los Angeles County residents who recently returned from China to offer them support.
The county continues to prevent the spread of the virus locally and subsequently across the nation. Additional rapid and flexible federal funds are critical to maintain local preparedness and response efforts and to prevent further spread of COVID-2019 in the U.S.
Since December 2019, more than 72,000 novel coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally. In the United States, the health risk to the general public for coronavirus remains low.
However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency to allow local, state and federal officials to fully coordinate responses in partnership with public health departments, emergency management teams, airports, health care professionals and first responders.
If the motion is approved, the Board of Supervisors will send a letter to the Los Angeles County Congressional Delegation, the White House Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other officials to request at least $7.5 million dollars in federal funds to support state and local response to address the coronavirus threat.
Also to be considered in the March 4 meeting is a separate motion authored by Second District Supervisor Hilda L. Solis calling on county health officials to assess resources currently available to fight the virus’s outbreak.
The Department of Public Health has informational materials, videos and updates available in multiple languages to assist health professionals, school administrators, elected officials and community leaders to communicate with the public.
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