Lawmakers tour Stanislaus County Emergency Operations amid COVID-19 pandemic

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STANISLAUS COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow, Rep. Josh Harder, D-Turlock, toured the Stanislaus Emergency Operations Center Wednesday and got a glimpse at how local crews are tackling the pandemic.

“The best that we could be doing in Washington is help them do their job,” Harder told FOX40. “Making sure that our nurses, our doctors, our law enforcement, are kept safe, because they’re gonna be our first responders to this.”

The Assistant Director of the Office of Emergency Services Richard Murdock told FOX40 one of the challenges they face is the lack of direct communication from national and state leaders.

“And unfortunately a lot of times the public thinks that we’re not doing our job because of what’s being said at the capitol, as well as Washington, D.C. but we are,” explained Murdock.

“We need to make sure that information is getting directly to the source as soon as possible,” said Harder.

Deputy Royjindar Singh says emergency operations workers have a good handle on how to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“We have a good plan in place with how we’re responding to calls and how we’re addressing potential exposure, and things like that; with the safety equipment we have,” said Singh.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there are five confirmed COVID19 cases in Stanislaus County. 

Harder says as families, especially senior citizens, are being asked to stay home, he is working to ensure employees get paid sick time and that small business owners will be reimbursed.

“The more people we prevent from having this disease, the better our economy is going to look as we recover,” said Harder.

The congressman is also working to obtain more COVID19 tests, and masks, gowns, and other safety equipment.

“We don’t know what the next few days and weeks can bring, but we have to be prepared,” said Harder.

Because of the evolving situation, Singh told FOX40 the most updated information will be found on the county’s Facebook page: StanEmergency.

You could also find them if you search Stanislaus County on Facebook.

 “This is what’s going on and more importantly, ‘why?’ ‘Why this is or is not happening within our county?’” explained Singh.

Stanislaus County is not currently mandating that families shelter-in-place.

Officials say that decision would have to come from their public health officer. 

They are encouraging that if anyone younger than 65 is experiencing COVID19 symptoms — to stay home, do not go to the emergency room, call your doctor, and treat the illness like that of a regular flu. 

As FOX40 reported – Harder’s paid sick leave credit act — if passed — would reimburse business owners of 500 employees or fewer for paying their employees while sheltering in place.

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