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Feds won’t put quarantined passengers in Southern California


LOS ANGELES (AP) — The federal government announced Friday that it won’t try to move dozens of cruise ship passengers quarantined because of coronavirus fears to a facility in densely populated Southern California.

A judge was expected to rule next Monday on whether to permit the transfer of as many as 50 passengers from the Diamond Princess from Travis Air Force Base in Northern California to a facility in Costa Mesa.

The Orange County city had filed legal action against the state of California after it learned federal and state officials were planning to use the Fairview Developmental Center to house and isolate individuals who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus but do not require hospitalization.

The facility previously housed people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“This is a victory for the citizens of Costa Mesa and Orange County,” Mayor Katrina Foley said in a statement. “But the government has not promised not to place future infected persons there, so the battle is not over. We will continue to ask the court to prohibit the government from using this completely inappropriate facility for housing people infected with a highly communicable and potentially fatal disease.”

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