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February 4, 2020

ABC 7: Carson Officials Demand Wider FBI Probe After Coronavirus Social Media Hoax

CARSON, Calif. (KABC) — Carson officials on Monday demanded a wider FBI probe to quell alarm over a fake social media post about the coronavirus.

“When we got this information via social media, it had over 5,000 shares. It had put the city in a panic,” says Carson Councilmember Jawane Hilton.

Calls came in from first responders, as well as schools asking if they should close.

Some of the busiest stores in Carson were listed in the post, including Seafood City, which reports losses of 30 to 40% over the weekend because of the scare.

“Actually almost 70% of the community comes to this store. They shop here almost three times a week,” says manager Jules Torres.

The false message prominently displayed logos from major health organizations and replicated the signature of an L.A. County Health official.

“This is not a joke. Public health is not a joke and causing fear in the community is not a joke,” said Congressmember Nanette Diaz-Barragan, who called for the federal probe in tandem with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department.

 

Read the full article at KABC 7.

 

Fox 11: LA County Health Officials Outline Plans to Prevent Spread of Coronavirus

 

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials Monday outlined the latest plans to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that originated in China, and which has been contracted by at least one person in the county.

DPH officials said they are working with the state and federal government to implement the new directives to contain the virus, noted as 2019-nCoV, including:

Assisting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with the safe transport of travelers arriving at LAX from China who need to be quarantined. Those travelers will be isolated at the quarantine station at LAX and then transported to the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County — which has already taken in nearly 200 government employees under quarantine after they were possibly exposed to the virus;

Updating and distributing guidance to local healthcare providers around screening and treating people with suspected cases;

Working with schools, colleges and universities to ensure compliance with new guidance from CDC that excludes newly arriving travelers from China from public settings for 14 days from their last exposure;

Providing accurate information to community residents in multiple languages and delivering packets of fact sheets about the novel coronavirus to more than 800 community-based organizations;

Establishing protocols for monitoring the health of U.S. citizens and their family members returning from China who are in Los Angeles County and need to remain in their homes for up to 14 days. This includes making sure they receive appropriate services and testing in the event they become ill within 14 days of last exposure;

Continued monitoring of all people identified as “close contacts” of any confirmed cases to assess health status and issue exclusion requirements in accordance with CDC directives.

Updates about the coronavirus will be posted on the county website at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov, and on DPH social media accounts @lapublichealth.

A false warning was posted recently that spread on social media, according to Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragan, D-Los Angeles, who on Monday demanded a full FBI investigation into people who she said intended to cause a panic in the Carson area.

“The type of misinformation that was spread last week, intentionally made to look like it was official news coming from public health organizations, is an extremely irresponsible and serious action. It cannot be tolerated,” Barragan said at a news conference. “That is why I am calling on the FBI to launch a full-scale investigation to determine who created this false letter, and to prosecute all those responsible to the fullest extent of the law.”

 

Read the full article Fox 11.

 

Los Angeles Daily News: L.A. County Officials Outline Plans to Fight Coronavirus

– and Misinformation About the Outbreak

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials on Monday, Feb. 3, outlined the latest plans to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus that originated in China, and which has been contracted by at least one person in the county.

Also, concern was raised about a false warning that was posted last week that spread on social media in the South Bay, according to Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragan, D-Los Angeles.

Barragan demanded a full FBI investigation into people who she said intended to cause a panic in the Carson area.

 

Read the full article here.

 

KTLA 5 and CBS 2 covered the press conference as well.