California became the latest state to declare a state of emergency because of the coronavirus, a step caused a sharp increase in the number of cases in the County of Los Angeles, including one confirmed case of death. About it writes Yahoo!
At the press conference, the state Governor Gavin Newsom said this will help the state, “and continue to prepare the population and health care system to the situation even wider spread of coronavirus”.
Newsom’s decision followed similar decisions in Florida and Texas, and in Washington state, which occurred in 13 of the 14 deaths from the coronavirus in the United States. According to the latest viral outbreak now includes more than 100,000 cases worldwide and more than 230 in the United States.
As the spread of the virus there are fears that other parts of the country may soon be in a state of emergency. But what exactly constitutes a state of emergency, and how effective such a measure to stop the epidemic?
The state has its own rules
Unlike a Federal state of emergency, which can declare the President of the United States Donald trump, the Protocol on local States of emergency may vary. The state may proceed with the reallocation of resources to stop the crisis, create an emergency task force or initiate any number of plans developed for emergencies.
Rachel Piltch-Loeb, Ph. D., researcher at Harvard University and researcher school of global public health at new York University, said that the state of emergency is pretty much a good step.
“The announcement of emergency in public health can provide to the health sector of the state flexibility regarding the parameters of the response, she says. — States vary in their laws, and state law determines how such a statement can be made: as a rule, by Executive order or proclamation of the Governor.”
A state of emergency allows officials to circumvent the law
Often officials can take months (or more) to obtain access to Finance or to do something like quarantine, but the state of emergency gives them more power, provided that the actions are aimed at protecting citizens.
“The Declaration of emergency in public health may allow to respond to changes in the procurement of materials, recruitment of staff or the costs necessary action, says Piltch-Loeb. For example, when you declare a state of emergency in public health, States may repeal laws on licensing to temporarily allow medical professionals from other States to work in the affected state, to improve the efficiency of procurement of medical goods across borders, can expand the capabilities of medical workers, for example, faster to distribute the vaccine.”
A state of emergency may allow authorities to make “creative” decisions
Piltch-Loeb says that one of the most useful parts of this step is the ability to implement new strategies.
“After the Declaration of emergency in public health, the States can impose recommendations on the avoidance of close contacts (social distance) or other measures of public health on an extended basis, says Piltch-Loeb. In addition to the declarations of emergencies the district may also declare an emergency in public health, which allows you to query the state resources in the form of staff and supplies”.
The state of emergency declared in the district of kings (WA) has allowed officials to pay for the rooms of patients in quarantine. County of San Diego (CA), this step allowed officials to apply for reimbursement for the testing, which can cost thousands of dollars.
State of emergency at the country level does not cancel the state of emergency at the state level
24 States have laws on emergency situations in public health, which means that they have got their own strategy for dealing with a viral outbreak.
“Not all States have specific laws about the emergency situation in public health… what is unclear, which could mean this situation,” says Piltch-Loeb.
But while it may seem strange that States adopt their own plans, Piltch-Loeb says the announcement of an emergency situation at the Federal level will be an additional measure.
“The Federal emergency makes the emergency state invalid — says Piltch-Loeb. — Federal state of emergency expands the financial resources and manpower available at the national level, and can create a more coordinated response.”
Regardless of whether your declared state of emergency, experts recommend to observe the rules of hygiene: wash your hands often and do not touch face with your hands.
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