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Governor, L.A. County declare state of emergency for swine flu

April 28, 2009 | 11:35 am

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today proclaimed a state of emergency over the spread of swine flu, expediting state agency responses to the outbreak.

The proclamation orders all state agencies to use staff and equipment to help the Department of Public Health under coordination of the California Emergency Management Agency. "While there is no need for alarm, it is the governor’s top priority to limit the swine flu’s spread as quickly and effectively as possible and this action represents one more step being taken to strengthen California’s response capabilities,’’ according to a statement by the governor’s office.

The order also suspends rules requiring competitive bids for services, material, personnel and equipment needed to respond to this outbreak and waives some certification requirements for public health laboratories to help in the state’s expansion of testing capabilities.

"The spread of the virus poses a threat to property in the state due to illness-related absenteeism, particularly among public safety and law enforcement personnel and persons engaged in activities and businesses critical to the economy and infrastructure of the state,’’ Schwarzenegger said in the proclamation. 

He added that this strain of the swine flu "constitutes a potential epidemic … that, by reason of its magnitude, is beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of any single county, city … or regions to combat.’’

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors also declared a local state of emergency today.

-- Patrick McGreevy

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