Los Angeles County public health officials on Wednesday declared an emergency after confirming an additional six coronavirus cases in the last 48 hours.
“I want to reiterate that this is not a response rooted in panic,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a statement, before adding that signing the emergency proclamation enables officials to “to further draw down resources from both the federal and state level of government.”
The fresh cases bring California’s total number of infections to 35. Washington state has the second most cases with 27 patients and nine deaths.
The Los Angeles County Public Health Department said it is boosting the number of coronavirus tests and said additional resources will arrive shortly.
“We will ensure that people who test positive for the novel coronavirus and their close contacts are quickly identified and closely monitor and supported while they are in isolation and/or quarantined,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the County of Los Angeles Public Health Department.
With more than 100 confirmed cases in the United States, lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and Republican-led U.S. Senate reached a deal after several days of intense negotiations, made more urgent by the rapid pace of the epidemic’s spread.
The text of the bipartisan bill was to be released later in day, with approval expected in both chambers by the end of the week followed by prompt approval by President Donald Trump.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., who negotiated the funding with House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., said the measure will provide $7.76 billion to battle the coronavirus.
“This should not be about politics; this is about doing our job to protect the American people from a potential pandemic,” Shelby said in a statement.
The funding was three times the $2.5 billion initially requested by the Trump administration.
The UPI contributed to this report.