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State asked to audit San Diego response to hepatitis A

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SAN DIEGO — Assemblyman Todd Gloria announced Thursday he requested a state audit regarding how the city of San Diego and San Diego County responded to the recent hepatitis A outbreak that killed 20 people and infected more than 500.

“We owe it to the 20 people who died and the more than 500 who contracted hepatitis A to learn exactly what went wrong and what could have been done better,” Gloria said. “It is my hope this audit will help us better understand how the city and county managed the hepatitis A outbreak and ultimately make certain our region is sufficiently prepared to handle any future public health crises that may arise.”

In his letter to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, Gloria recommended the audit to find out whether the city and county acted in accordance with statutory requirements and recommended procedure.

The letter mentions two potential problems: the county not initially releasing detailed case location data, and city power washing contracts finalized amid concerns about sharing costs with the county to contain the outbreak.

The hepatitis A outbreak began in March 2017. Six months later, county leaders declared a public health emergency as the number of confirmed cases had risen. County officials ended the public health emergency declaration in January.

Gloria’s audit request is scheduled to be heard by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee on May 16.

 

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