Gloria Bill Aimed at Addressing San Diego’s Slow Response to Hepatitis A Outbreak Sent to Governor
Assemblymember Gloria Successfully Passes Bill Correcting Local Flaws During 2017 Hepatitis A Outbreak
SACRAMENTO, CA – The bill authored by California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) to address San Diego’s slow response to the 2017 Hepatitis A outbreak, which killed 20 people and infected more than 500, cleared its final hurdle today and is now on the Governor’s desk.
“San Diego learned the hard way what happens when we fail to prioritize public health. We don’t want those mistakes replicated anywhere else, and that’s why I’m hopeful Governor Newsom will sign this bill,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “With this legislation signed into law, we can ensure local officials effectively manage any future communicable disease outbreaks and the public is adequately protected.”
Assembly Bill 262 (AB 262) makes clear the responsibility of local health officers to notify and provide direction to local jurisdictions during communicable disease outbreaks – like Hepatitis A. In addition, AB 262 mandates local health officers make relevant information available to affected jurisdictions such as locations and concentration of cases. This was something a state audit -- requested by Assemblymember Gloria -- revealed did not happen during the 2017 outbreak.
“This legislation gives local health officers the authority to take control and act quickly to protect residents during a health crisis,” said San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher. “I am appreciative of Assemblymember Todd Gloria for working with the County of San Diego to pass this measure. I hope Governor Gavin Newsom will sign AB262 to ensure health officials at the local level are able to effectively protect their communities.”
The Hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego County began in March 2017. During the course of the outbreak, 587 cases were reported, 402 hospitalizations occurred, and 20 people died.
AB 262 is co-authored by San Diego-area Assemblywomen Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) and Tasha Boerner Horvath (D-Encinitas). Governor Newsom has until October 13 to sign or veto legislation on his desk. If signed into law, the bill would go into effect on January 1, 2020.