A group of Democratic San Diego city leaders urged immigrants and refugees Thursday to seek medical attention if warranted amid the coronavirus outbreak without fear of retribution.
“No one should be afraid of going to the doctor and seeking medical care if they need it," San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said at a press conference on Thursday. "In the state of California hospitals and other care providers are required to provide care to everyone, regardless of their legal status."
The coalition of local leaders was made up of Fletcher, San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez, Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez and executives with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans (PANA) and the Pacific Arts Movement.
The group came together to express to San Diego's immigrant, refugee and non-English speaking community that COVID-19, the disease from the new coronavirus, does not discriminate and "here in San Diego County, neither do we," Fletcher said.
According to the coalition, some of the resources that can be accessed amid the COVID-19 pandemic without fear of retribution were:
- Food from the San Diego Food Bank
- Free breakfast and lunches for children from public schools providing meals
- Unemployment insurance, paid family leave and disability if you or a family member is sick, and workers compensation. Undocumented individuals should not fear becoming a public charge if using these services, according to Gonzalez
- Medicare or Medical
People with questions on where to find resources were urged to call the county's public information service at 2-1-1.
Fletcher reiterated that, while immigrants and refugees should seek medical care without fear if showing severe flu-like symptoms, the majority of people do not need to go to a doctor or be tested for COVID-19.
Those with symptoms of cough, fever and shortness of breath should still follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations -- self-isolate for two weeks if you are have a cough, fever, or shortness of breath.
For the latest information on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting San Diego County, click here.
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