The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on March 10 ratified and extended a proclamation of a state of emergency in the county due to the coronavirus risk as the county's chief health officer warned of "widespread community transmission" of the virus.
Dr. Scott Morrow, the county's health officer, updated his March 5 statement about the coronavirus threat today with a new message in which he said he now has "evidence of widespread community transmission of COVID-19."
The county's health department did not respond by late Tuesday afternoon to The Almanac's phone calls and emails requesting more information about the statement.
The health department's website as of Thursady afternoon (March 12) reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had confirmed 20 cases of the virus in the county.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the declaration of an emergency, which will remain in effect for 30 days. At the end of that period, the board will decide whether to extend the emergency status.
"The moves make the County eligible for federal reimbursement for some costs associated with the response and additional flexibility for staffing and purchasing," according to a press release from the county issued this afternoon.
"The Board today also approved a resolution easing the ability of the County to hire retired public health and other nursing and medical assistant classifications," the release said.
No one in the county was available as of late afternoon to comment on what, if any, new steps to address the coronavirus threat might be put in place as a result of the emergency declaration.
The Almanac will update this story as more information becomes available.
Go here for San Mateo County health department updates on the virus.
Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by the Almanac, Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Online here.