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Past Lessons Illustrate Present Need for More Quarantine Facilities


By Cathy Jakicic Emergency Preparedness
quarantine stamp

A century ago, California had a quarantine station on Angel Island that held 400 beds, a hospital, disinfecting plant, laboratories and convalescence quarters, according to The Mercury News.

That facility and similarly isolated sites are long gone — and governments are trying to find somewhere to put coronavirus patients.

“The CDC does not have quarantine or isolation facilities that can handle more than a few at a time,” Polly J. Price, professor of law and global health at Atlanta’s Emory University and an expert on the legal history of quarantines, said in the article. 

Federal and state health officials sought to move infected people to Costa Mesa’s 125-acre Fairview Developmental Center, a state-owned facility for people with mental disabilities, which is now empty. But city leaders filed a lawsuit to stop the move, citing fears for residents’ health.

Cathryn Jakicic is healthcare industries editor of FacilitiesNet.com. For more information on hospital campuses and other medical facilities, check out the FacilitiesNet healthcare page

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