Court blocks transfer of coronavirus patients to California city

The city of Costa Mesa, Calif., has temporarily succeeded in preventing the transfer of patients who've tested positive for coronavirus to a Costa Mesa facility the city says is unsuitable to house them. Currently the patients in question are lodged at Travis Air Force Base in California, shown here. Photo by Nicholas Pilch/U.S. Air Force

Feb. 23 (UPI) — A federal court granted a temporary restraining order preventing the government from transferring dozens of patients who have tested positive for coronavirus from Travis Air Force Base in Northern California to a building in Southern California.

The city of Costa Mesa filed a request for an injunction Friday against the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Air Force, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the California Department of General Services.

U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton issued the ruling, which concerned the potential transfer of 50 patients to a complex the city said was not suitable to house patients.

An expedited hearing is expected to be held Monday.

In its lawsuit, the city, which is about 40 miles south of Los Angeles, also accused federal and state authorities of not informing or working with Costa Mesa officials on the quarantine.

“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,” Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley said.

Before Friday, there were 15 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

That number more than doubled when the CDC announced that 28 Americans, who have returned home after exposure to coronavirus aboard a Princess Cruise Ship in the Pacific, have tested positive for the illness.


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