Redwood City, Calif. – The County of San Mateo is urging compassion as the federal and state governments work to provide a safe, medically appropriate setting for the passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship.

The County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was notified by the state of its intention to temporarily house passengers at a private hotel in the city of San Carlos. The EOC has no responsibility for operations at the hotel but will support the city of San Carlos’ EOC as needed.

“We have been assured by federal and state authorities that the individuals now temporarily housed in San Carlos pose no health or safety risks to our residents or visitors,” County Manager Mike Callagy said. “They are now in a controlled environment managed and protected by the federal government.”

San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley, whose District 3 includes San Carlos, said, “We have a humanitarian responsibility to assist during this health crisis. These passengers have to go someplace. We will do everything we can to help and protect our citizenry from exposure.”

The EOC remains open to coordinate countywide response and communications at the County Center’s campus in Redwood City. The EOC’s Emergency Medical Services branch has begun operating around-the-clock to support the federal and state government’s efforts to temporarily house the cruise ship passengers. A California Office of Emergency Services (CalOES) representative is also now in the County EOC.

The County is working closely with local cities, school districts, the business community and others to keep the public informed about the unfolding response to COVID-19.

In addition to activating the EOC, the County has taken the following actions:

•    Established a 24/7 call center – 211 – where residents can call (or text “coronavirus” to 211211) with non-medical questions about the coronavirus

•    Board of Supervisors proclaimed a local state of emergency and the health officer declared a local health emergency

•    Created a dedicated website with EOC updates at cmo.smcgov.org/eoc

•    Issued a price gouging alert, reminding the public it is illegal after proclaiming or declaring an emergency. Reports can be made at the District Attorney’s Office at 650-363-4403 or da.smcgov.org/price-gouging-covid-19

Media Contacts:
The County of San Mateo has no jurisdiction or authority over the federal and state government’s operations at the San Carlos hotel. Media inquiries should be directed to: Cal OES Office of Media Relations and Public Information media@caloes.ca.gov

City of San Carlos 650-474-9937

County of San Mateo’s Joint Information Center 650-779-9939

Smc_jic@smcgov.org