Costa Mesa accuses feds of plan to move coronavirus evacuees ‘under the cover of darkness’

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COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Hours after court documents were filed Friday in federal court showing that between 35 and 50 coronavirus evacuees currently in quarantine at Travis Air Force Base could soon be relocated to a building in Costa Mesa, a federal judge granted the city's request for a temporary restraining order to stop the possible plan, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The documents say the city is seeking a temporary restraining order and an order to show cause to prevent the federal government from moving the evacuees. The current plan, as outlined in the documents, is to move the evacuees to the former Fairview Development Center in Costa Mesa. That center used to house adults with developmental disabilities before it was deemed unsuitable for emergency use by the California State Department of General Services, the document says.

The order from U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton prevents the transportation of anyone with or exposed to coronavirus in Costa Mesa before a hearing Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported. The hearing will be held at 2 p.m. at Santa Ana's federal courthouse.

The Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Air Force, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State of California, Fairview Developmental Center, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services and the California Department of General Services were listed as defendants alongside the United States of America.

According to the documents, the city filed the temporary restraining order to prevent the federal government from "Transporting persons infected with or exposed to the Coronavirus to any place within Costa Mesa, California until an adequate site survey has been conducted, the designated site has been determined suitable for this purpose, all necessary safeguards and precautions have been put in place, and the public and local government have been informed of all efforts to mitigate risk of transmission of the disease."

The city alleges the state and federal governmental agencies did not consult city officials when making the relocation plans and request that "the state and federal government stop acting under the cover of darkness, which would create greater panic and confusion among the population."

Further, the city identifies Fairview as an "inappropriate location" for a federal quarantine, due to its location in Costa Mesa and close proximity to residential areas.

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