San Francisco declared a local emergency over the coronavirus on Tuesday, after health officials warned its spread across the US was inevitable and that Americans needed to prepare for the spread of infections within their communities
Despite having no cases in San Francisco, the mayor’s announcement came as CDC officials warned that the spread of the virus in the US was not a matter of if, but when.
New York Post reports: Mayor London Breed said the declaration would help the city speed up emergency planning should the virus touch down in the Bay Area.
“Although there are still zero confirmed cases in San Francisco residents, the global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to step up preparedness,” Breed said in a statement.
“We see the virus spreading in new parts of the world every day, and we are taking the necessary steps to protect San Franciscans from harm.”
So far, 53 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the United States, including 10 in California.
Three of the state’s patients have been treated in San Francisco hospitals, although they were not residents of the city, according to Breed’s office.
Health officials in the city said the declaration allows the county to have more clinicians, nurses and case managers on call 24 hours a day.
“Given the high volume of travel between San Francisco and mainland China, there is a growing likelihood that we will see cases of COVID-19 eventually,” said Dr. Tomas Aragon, San Francisco’s health officer.
The announcement came amid growing fears of a global coronavirus pandemic. US stocks continued a massive sell-off Tuesday amid anxiety over the increasing presence of the virus outside China.