Supervisor Barger and County Public Health Officer Declare Local Health Emergency in Los Angeles County Regarding Coronavirus

LOS ANGELES—Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Chair of the Board of Supervisors, officially signed a proclamation declaring the existence of a Local Emergency in Los Angeles County regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of the Department of Public Health, announced there are six confirmed cases of coronavirus in Los Angeles County. A similar declaration of a Local Health Emergency was signed by Dr. Muntu Davis, the Los Angeles County Public Health Officer.

“Los Angeles County is taking this important step to ensure the ongoing safety and protection of the public,” said Supervisor Barger, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “We have world-class health and emergency response officials engaged in the fight to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County. We need every tool at our disposal to make sure we’re ready to support any coronavirus patients diagnosed in Los Angeles County and to prevent any further spread.”

Today’s action by Supervisor Barger officially asks the State of California to consider a proclamation declaring an emergency. This would enable the Governor to waive regulations that may hinder response efforts, expedite access to state and federal resources, and assist the County as needed.

The proclamation signed by Supervisor Barger also activates the Emergency Operation Center in support of the Department of Public Health’s response to the coronavirus and to provide operational area coordination.

Supervisor Barger authored a motion, unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors, to request at least $7.5 million to support the Department of Public Health and additional resources to support other County Departments handling the local response to address the novel coronavirus threat.

While Los Angeles County is following protocol to request federal funding, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) know these channels take time. To demonstrate their commitment to Los Angeles County, HHS is sending an immediate infusion of $2.3 million.

“I am grateful to the Federal Government for its swift response supporting our work on the ground in Los Angeles County with resources to enhance our preparedness,” said Supervisor Barger. “This is one step of many that L.A. County is taking to protect our communities from further spread of the coronavirus. We will continue to collaborate with our state, federal, and local partners.”

The coronavirus, a communicable disease, was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. COVID-19 has since spread globally to more than 40 countries, infecting more than 80,000 people and killing approximately 3,000 individuals worldwide. COVID-19 has created conditions that are likely to be beyond the control of local resources and will require additional support.

A copy of the signed proclamation is available here.

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