In less than a week, the global novel coronavirus outbreak has evolved from one of general alerts and watchfulness to an escalating public health issue, especially in our state.
Only a few airports nationwide are receiving flights from China, and two of them are in California. We’re also one of three states (along with Texas and Nebraska) housing people returning from China at military bases. The state has already confirmed six people with the virus, with more under surveillance and testing.
As always, hospitals are prepared and stand ready to help. For you, there is nothing more important during these days of rapidly changing information and guidance than getting people the care they need, protecting other patients, and safeguarding your workers from exposure to the virus.
In turn, your hospital associations are here to support you. Working with officials at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), we’ve established a regular, hospital-only phone call so you can get the latest information from CDPH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other state and federal agencies — on everything from diagnostic testing to laboratory guidelines, reporting, and more.
The next call is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 11, at 7:45 a.m. We hope your teams take advantage of this opportunity to hear the most up-to-the-minute information from CDPH, to submit questions anonymously, and to learn what other hospitals are experiencing.
We’ve also established a web page to serve as a repository of information after these calls, as well as for other updates and available resources. And through our Coronavirus Watch emails, we’ll keep your team apprised of any breaking developments as they happen.
This particular virus seems to be presenting some new public health challenges, and California’s hospitals are — as always — answering the call with confidence, steady adherence to thoughtful emergency preparedness plans, careful tracking of federal and state instructions, and a foundational commitment to caring for all who need them, whatever the circumstances.