California "Health Officer" Comments on Individual Liberties, Contact Tracing, and Isolation Housing


California Senator Richard Pan (D) interviews Alameda County interim health officer, Dr. Erica Pan, on testing, contact tracing, and isolating those infected with COVID-19.

Dr. Erica Pan:

“…the ongoing interesting balance for public health is individual sort of liberties vs protection of the public health and so this pandemic is certainly testing that at all levels, how much individuals are willing to give up their own liberties, or not, for the good of the public health, and our authority to do so and our enforcement of others, which is one of the challenges as far as case and contact investigation and isolation and quarantine.”

“So, uhh, you know, as you just said, an effective isolation would be if someone who’s really kind of on their own, umm, and not living with other people that they’re having contact with….”

“But I think as far as what we need, again, to more effectively contain this pandemic is to make sure that, umm, you know, as you just asked that if there’s someone in a crowded household where they can’t have their own bedroom and bathroom, that we really should be trying to house and isolate them safely.”

“…jurisdictions across the state and the country are really working on getting places to put people that can’t isolate safely.”

“We also issue, umm, you know, early on, as far trying to contain, we issued legal isolation orders that have a lot of details on all of the things they need to be doing, umm, to make sure they’re staying away from others, and again, has, uh, health officer authority that could be enforced by law enforcement…”

“And then because the numbers start to become big, we then issue what we call blanket isolation and quarantine orders just to make sure people realize they were under that authority that they needed to stay isolated. Umm, and so that’s another layer as well, but, certainly housing and making sure people can be safe.”

“Another big effort of us and others is, uhhh, obviously people can’t shelter at home if they don’t have a home so really trying to find places for our homeless population which has been a very unfortunate crisis before this pandemic and trying to, you know, move people especially those who are most vulnerable as far as the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions have been the higher priority, here, trying to get them into hotels and places where they can have individual rooms. Umm, being able to, again, safely isolate or quarantine those people as well.”

Origin of this interview can be found here:

#ContactTracing #AlamedaCounty #HealthOfficer #StayHomeOrder #IsolationHousing

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