Costa Mesa officials say they were blindsided by possible plan to use facility as coronavirus quarantine site

COSTA MESA, Calif. (KABC) -- Costa Mesa officials say they were blindsided when they learned the federal government was considering a facility in the city as a possible quarantine site for coronavirus patients.

Residents and city leaders gathered for a news conference on Saturday, one day after the city was granted a temporary restraining order that blocked the Fairview Developmental Center from being used for that purpose.

"That is not the best practices for moving people into a community and opening up a facility to treat people who have a contagious, infectious disease," Mayor Katrina Foley told residents.

According to the court papers filed by the city on Friday, the federal government had planned to transfer as many as 50 coronavirus patients from Travis Air Force Base, where they have been under quarantine, to Fairview on Sunday.

Judge temporarily blocks Costa Mesa facility from planned use as coronavirus quarantine site
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A federal judge on Friday granted a temporary restraining order against the usage of a Costa Mesa facility as a possible quarantine site for coronavirus patients.

City leaders said they were informed on Thursday that the patients would be transferred as early as Sunday, Feb. 23. The restraining order prohibits the transfer before a hearing on Monday at 2 p.m.

News of the plan has residents on edge. Many showed up to Saturday's meeting, holding signs with messages such as "Say no to coronavirus retainment in our city!"

The site under consideration once housed around 2,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but it is now mostly empty, officials said.

The city's court filings described the building as "an inappropriate location for a quarantine, as there is no way to restrict access to or from the facility."
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