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Costa Mesa files legal action to halt coronavirus quarantine from relocating to Fairview Developmental Center


COSTA MESA, Calif. - California Health and Human Services (CHHS) announced that the Fairview Developmental Center in Costa Mesa was being considered as a new location for the Diamond Princess cruise ship coronavirus quarantine.

The City of Costa Mesa responded by filing legal action against the State of California on Friday after it learned that federal officials were planning to use the developmental center for quarantine purposes.

Costa Mesa City Council filed a request for a legal injunction to halt the plan partly because Fairview, which is owned by the State of California, is located next to multiple residential neighborhoods.

"The City informally learned that this site is being actively considered as a quarantine facility for patients who are California residents,” said Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley.  “Our top priority is the safety and security of this community and those who live in this region. We have received no information regarding how the facility will be prepared, what precautions will be taken to protect those in the facility as well as those who live nearby, and other important planning measures.”

The mayor said Costa Mesa not part of the process that led to Fairview being considered for a coronavirus quarantine. This injunction is intended to ensure open dialog and collaborative effort among local, state, and federal agencies responsible for managing the crisis.

The City tweeted Friday evening that Judge Josephine Staton issued a Temporary Restraining Order preventing the transportation of persons infected with or exposed to the Coronavirus to any place within Costa Mesa until an expedited hearing can be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, February 24.

The quarantine is currently being held at the Travis Air Force Base, however, CHHS said the federal government has determined that anyone who tests positive for novel coronavirus cannot stay at the air force base.

CHHS explained that some who have tested positive will need hospital care, but many are not sick enough to need to go to the hospital. These people must continue to remain isolated until the infection is cleared from them.

Representative Harley Rouda released a statement on Saturday about the potential move:

"Protecting the health and well-being of Californians should be a collaborative effort between federal, state, and local officials," said Rouda. "Unfortunately — the Trump and Newsom Administrations failed to adequately communicate with the City of Costa Mesa and its elected officials. They decided our voices, expertise, and collaboration were not worth consideration. The Orange County community deserves answers ... I will keep fighting to ensure the Administration answers our questions."

Congressman Harley Rouda (CA-48)

Earlier this month, Camp Roberts on the edge of San Luis Obispo County was being considered as one of the relocations for the quarantine. The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department announced it would not be using Camp Roberts after all.

CHHS said that if the Costa Mesa location is chosen, the federal government would be responsible for providing health care to the quarantine members as well as providing robust security to ensure the public safety and public health of the surrounding community.

Costa Mesa said it understands the federal government's need for a site for the quarantine, but a full and complete explanation of all plans is required.

Costa Mesa advises residents and visitors to monitor the City's website for any additional information.

Article Topic Follows: Health
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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.


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