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Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services calling on the administration to provide additional medical support to San Francisco as requested by Mayor London Breed. The letter comes after nine employees and two patients tested positive for the novel coronavirus at Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center.

“We’ve already seen the devastation across the country that followed an outbreak in nursing facilities and senior homes.  While San Francisco took aggressive steps early on in the pandemic to mitigate spread in the Bay Area, additional support is critical to avoid the catastrophic loss of life experienced by states that were under similar circumstances and simply did not have the necessary resources to respond,” wrote Senator Feinstein.

“I ask that you immediately provide San Francisco with the equipment and personnel requested by Mayor Breed to protect the residents of Laguna Honda.”

Full text of the letter is available here and below.

March 31, 2020
 

The Honorable Alex Azar II
Secretary of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Dear Secretary Azar,

I write to thank you for your quick response to the developing situation at Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center and respectfully request that you consider immediately providing additional medical equipment and health professionals to the City and County of San Francisco to help contain the recent coronavirus outbreak.

As of March 30, nine employees and two patients at the 780-bed skilled nursing facility have tested positive for the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.  Nursing facility residents are at a very high risk of becoming sick or severely ill if infected with COVID-19, which makes this situation at one of the largest nursing facilities in the country that much more dire. 

We’ve already seen the devastation across the country that followed an outbreak in nursing facilities and senior homes.  While San Francisco took aggressive steps early on in the pandemic to mitigate spread in the Bay Area, additional support is critical to avoid the catastrophic loss of life experienced by states that were under similar circumstances and simply did not have the necessary resources to respond.

I have attached a March 27, 2020, letter from San Francisco Mayor London Breed detailing the team of specialized personnel needed from the federal government to be able to protect the patients at Laguna Honda Hospital and effectively respond to the outbreak.  To date, only six personnel have been provided.  I ask that you immediately provide San Francisco with the equipment and personnel requested by Mayor Breed to protect the residents of Laguna Honda.

Please know that I appreciate your expeditious attention to my request, and I look forward to continuing to work with you as we bring all of the United States’ resources to bear in confronting this pandemic.

Sincerely,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

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