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Santa Monica Joins Westside Cities to Prepare for Coronavirus
 

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By Jorge Casuso

March 4, 2020 -- Santa Monica joined four other Westside cities Wednesday to prepare for potential cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as Los Angeles County declared a public health emergency.

The actions come after County health officials confirmed six new coronavirus cases in the region since Tuesday night, bringing the total number of cases to seven.

All the cases have been linked to known exposures, health officials said. None of them were in Santa Monica.

In a joint statement issued Tuesday, officials in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Culver City, Malibu and West Hollywood said they are "at-the-ready for local action if the County or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend it."

"The five neighboring cities regularly collaborate on matters of public safety and response to natural and man-made disasters, large-scale regional public events, and emergency preparedness," the statement said.

Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown said Santa Monica is monitoring the spread of the viral disease "hour by hour in close collaboration with the LA County Department of Public Health.

"We are committed to keeping the community apprised of updates and impacts as the situation evolves," McKeown said.

"Everyone plays a role in helping prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses. We ask the community to follow the recommended practices to protect your families, neighbors, and the entire community.”

  • L.A. County Health officials advise the following "key protective community strategies:
  • Stay at home when sick,
  • Wash hands frequently,
  • Cover sneezes and coughs, appropriately dispose of soiled tissues and wash hands afterward,
  • Avoid close contact with those who are ill, and
  • Get a flu shot to prevent influenza if you have not done so this flu season.

City Manager Rick Cole said the City is "aligned closely with local hospitals, schools, businesses, and community organizations to ensure that our community members know where to access the latest official coronavirus information, how to be prepared, and any impacts on our city."

“We have contingency plans in place and our team is trained in multi-hazard emergency coordination, including working with our partners at LA County Department of Public Health for this type of public health crisis.”

LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said County health officials have been preparing "a coordinated approach to the coronavirus threat for two months.

“Today’s announcement will help the County more effectively and quickly prepare," Kuehl said. "We want to take every measure possible to slow the spread of the virus."


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