Fresno, California — A state official says the city is taking action to prevent another outbreak of the coronavirus.
The Fresno City Council approved an emergency budget on Wednesday that will add $2.6 million to the city’s budget for the coronatirus response, and $1.5 million to a program to fight the virus.
The city has already spent $6.5 billion on emergency services, and the city manager says that’s about to increase to $8.8 billion.
Council member Chris Loh said the city will use the additional funds to hire and train more staff to help fight the coronivirus.
Loh says there are two main priorities for the emergency budget: To hire more police and firefighters, and to provide more social services.
Fresno Mayor Steve Novick says the state has made it clear that it’s not going to fund the city of Fresno to the tune of the $1 billion.
The mayor says he’s encouraged that the city has taken the extra steps to help combat the coronovirus, but he says that will not necessarily be enough to eliminate the outbreak.
The Mayor of Fresno, Steve Novik, speaks to reporters after announcing a $4.2 million supplemental budget on February 9, 2017 in Fresno, Calif.
(Photo: Steve Marcus/AP)He says Fresno is going to need a lot more support to fight this coronaviruses, including money to help the city get rid of the dead bodies that have been discovered.
We’re talking about a lot of people who have died, he said.
Lorraine Hilder, an epidemiologist with the Fresno Health Department, said the additional $1 million to hire more staff is a great first step, but more money would be needed.
She says if the city didn’t get more support, the coronave was going to be much more deadly.
The state is offering $100,000 for each of the first 100 cases in Fresno.
Loh says that would be enough for the city to hire 100 additional police officers.
But if the outbreak continues, he says the extra money will be even more critical.
“We are going to have to have more resources and more training to make sure that we can keep these numbers down,” he said, adding that the state will also provide $100 million to help pay for the funeral homes, hospices, and other funeral homes.
We have to make the city safe, he added.