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Imperial County Ratifies Local Health Emergency Declaration Due to Coronavirus

By: Mario Conde, Reporter

While it is determined if a local resident has the Coronavirus, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors ratified the declaration of a health emergency at their March 10 meeting.

The board unanimously approved the declaration setting in motion actions by the health department in response to this new outbreak.

On Sunday, March 8, El Centro Regional Medical Center announced they have received a patient who met the criteria of the coronavirus. The patient is a femail in her 70s who returned from a trip to Florida and was complaining of side pains. The hospital followed protocols by the California Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and the patient was masked and isolated.

Although there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Imperial County as of this writing, on March 5, 2020, Dr. Stephen Munday M.D., Imperial County Health Officer, issued a Declaration of Local Health Emergency pursuant to California Health and Safety Code, as a result of the international COVID-19 outbreak. Additionally, the County Executive Officer serving as the Director of Emergency Services issued a Proclamation of Local Emergency regarding COVID-19.

The estimated costs in responding to the international novel coronavirus are currently being assessed.  The primary costs being incurred by the county of Imperial are for clinical and administrative support staff in coordination, surveillance, communication and management of the COVID-19 local health emergency, as well as related services and supplies. It does not include various hospital-related costs for patient care.

Janette Angulo, Director of Public Health, told the board the next steps for the public health department is to continue to coordinate local response efforts and participate in national and statewide conferences. As well as working with local health providers and be communicating with Baja California health partners.

California has 109 confirmed cases with two deaths. Imperial County and Mexicali have zero cases at this time.



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