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General BS forum I guess this will be for anything that would seem to be off topic in any other forum here. Just general shootin' the breeze kind of topics.

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Unread 02-07-2020, 08:18 PM   #11
Rich Z
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Well, isn't this just special...... So I could have suspected cases with potential victims in quarantine for testing nearby, and wouldn't be told about it? Nothing like, "Anyone having had contact with ___________ in the past 48 hours please call this number immediately: ______________". Sheesh. Do these people even know what steps to take in order to try to contain a potential epidemic?

Quote:
Coronavirus: Florida says it can’t reveal information, but experts disagree

By Cindy Krischer Goodman
South Florida Sun Sentinel |
Feb 06, 2020 | 10:19 PM


Florida health officials say state law prevents them from telling the public about suspected cases of coronavirus, yet the state regularly revealed that information during the Zika crisis three years ago.

The state put out daily updates about the Zika virus, informing the public of suspected as well as confirmed cases. The law was the same then.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, who was Florida’s governor at the time, said Florida should be as transparent now with coronavirus as it was with Zika. Scott is urging the same transparency for federal officials.

Daniel Dawes, a lawyer and professor of complex health systems at Nova Southeastern University, said he too would like to see more openness with the coronavirus, which originated in China and now has spread to 28 countries.

“I understand [Florida health officials] not wanting to get folks too concerned or scared, but as a citizen, I want to know if there are pending cases out there,” Dawes said. “If there are more pending cases in one part of the state than the other, I want to know that. If a test doesn’t lead to positive, I want to know that, too. I think Florida owes it to its citizens to be open with information so they can protect themselves.”

States are divided on how much information to share with the public about the rapidly spreading coronavirus, now with 28,000 confirmed cases in China and 12 in the U.S.

While authorities in California, Illinois and New York regularly disclose information on suspected as well as confirmed cases, officials in other large states — including Florida — have opted to withhold information on suspected cases until they are confirmed.

“We are unable to comment on potential coronavirus cases because of a state statute that prohibits us from doing so,” said Alberto Moscoso, communications director for the Florida Department of Health.

But three health lawyers, asked by the South Florida Sun Sentinel to review the law, said the state can release that information — if it chooses to. The statute says information from disease reports is exempt from public records laws and should be made public only when necessary to protect public health “due to the highly infectious nature of the disease.”
RELATED: South Florida doctors trying to stop anxiety over coronavirus »

“It’s a judgment call whether or not it’s necessary to the public health to release that information,” said Timothy Monaghan, a health care attorney with Shutts & Bowen in West Palm Beach. “Public officials may argue we are trying to avoid panic, but I think most people would say we need to know if it’s here in Florida so we can take precautions.”

Joey Zumpano, founder and managing shareholder of Zumpano Patricios, a law firm that represents large health systems, agrees that holding back information from the public is a choice the state is making.

“Clearly what the statutory framework is intending to achieve is a balance between patient privacy and public health,” Zumpano said. “The statute leaves the judgment to the state. But the status of a highly contagious public health threat may be fundamental to any public health efforts centered on prevention."

Tests are pending on 72 possible cases of coronavirus nationwide. The Sun Sentinel reported a patient who arrived in the emergency room of Memorial Hospital on Friday had been tested, though officials would not discuss the case and have emphasized that no cases of coronovirus in Florida have been confirmed.

RELATED: A patient at a South Florida hospital was tested for coronavirus. The public remains in the dark.

“There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Florida,” state Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees said in a written statement. "However, if any were to arise, we are prepared to contain this new infection, help any individuals sickened by the virus and keep Florida safe.”

In the U.S., the 12 cases of coronavirus are in Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington and Wisconsin.

Moscoso said if and when there is a confirmed case in Florida, the state will “make the information available as quickly as possible.”

“The Department is coordinating closely with our local partners to investigate, confirm, contain and report any suspected cases, should they occur,” he said. “The current guidance from the CDC is for the general American public, the immediate health risk from coronavirus is considered low at this time.”

Florida’s approach to releasing information on coronavirus differs from how health officials handled the 2016-17 Zika virus outbreak. With Zika, the Florida Department of Health reported positive and negative samples and pending results by county. It also put out daily updates that included maps of confirmed cases.

Scott said Florida and the federal government should be as transparent now.

“I encourage you to use the lessons we learned from Florida’s handling of the Zika virus by distributing as much information about the virus as possible to keep Americans and local officials informed,” Scott wrote in a Feb. 5 letter to President Donald Trump.
SOURCE: Coronavirus: Florida says it can’t reveal information, but experts disagree

But I guess having the tourist season potentially negatively impacted has priority, eh?
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Unread 02-08-2020, 03:09 AM   #12
Rich Z
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This video about the 1918 spanish flu pandemic is well worth watching. However it is kind of terrifying, to be honest. Mistakes were made that hopefully will not be made again.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDY5COg2P2c
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