“It’s, so we have a centralized location and process to prepare for what we need to do, to share public information, and to take any action if necessary,” said Jeff Cretan, a spokesman for Breed.
So far, there have been no confirmed cases in the Bay Area, but there are new reports that at least ten people have been tested for the deadly virus in Alameda County.
On Monday, the CDC said 110 people are under observation and being tested for the virus across the U.S. While 5 cases have already been confirmed, another 32 have tested negative.
The emergency center is also coming online one day before a Boeing 767, filled with 230 Americans, is expected to depart from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport on Tuesday for California.
There are more than 1,000 Americans trapped in the epidemic-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan, in which the U.S. State Department launched an emergency evacuation operation over the weekend.
The plane is expected to land in Ontario, California, which is about 400-miles south of the Bay Area.
The CDC has stepped up screening for air travelers for the deadly virus arriving from Asia at West Coast airports.
San Francisco activating its emergency center comes at a time when the University of Hong Kong’s med school revealed during a Monday presser that the deadly virus has likely infected more than 44,000 people in China. Meanwhile, Professor Neil Ferguson, at least the second UK academic to publicly share his projections, said over the weekend that 100,000 people could already be infected with the virus around the world, according to the Guardian.
If the coronavirus continues to spread across the world at its current rate, then it could become a global epidemic in the weeks or months ahead. It seems Bay Area officials are taking no chances with immediate preparations for the worst possible outcome.