PRESS RELEASE: Councilmembers Ryu & Blumenfield Urge City Support for COVID-19 Study

LOS ANGELES - Councilmembers David Ryu and Bob Blumenfield urged support for the UCLA COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative, led by UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Professor of Epidemiology Dr. Anne Rimoin, after introducing a motion in support to the City Council on April 7th. The study, which will center on healthcare workers, will provide crucial information, including how many infections occur without symptoms and the different types of immune responses.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

April 10, 2020

Contact for Councilmember Ryu:

Mark Pampanin

mark.pampanin@lacity.org

213.407.7616

 

Councilmembers Ryu & Blumenfield Urge City Support for COVID-19 Study

UCLA to study how virus spreads 

LOS ANGELES - Councilmembers David Ryu and Bob Blumenfield urged support for the UCLA COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative, led by UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Professor of Epidemiology Dr. Anne Rimoin, after introducing a motion in support to the City Council on April 7th. The study, which will center on healthcare workers, will provide crucial information, including how many infections occur without symptoms and the different types of immune responses.

“We know that the best way to bend the curve and beat this virus is through testing and identification - not just in who has it, but how Coronavirus spreads,” Councilmember Ryu said. “Dr. Rimoin’s groundbreaking work gave us new understanding about the Ebola virus, and now her work with UCLA’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative can give us crucial information about this virus and how to beat it.”

“UCLA’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Team offers us an incredible opportunity to step on the accelerator and explore all avenues to help slow the spread and save the lives of healthcare workers and Angelenos,” Councilmember Bob Blumenfield said. “This study may have an ancillary benefit to the City that is worth just as much as the actual research as it may both help us get first responders tested and give our overall testing capacity a critical boost.”

The initiative, led by Dr. Rimoin, involves monthly testing of frontline healthcare workers and first responders, who are more likely to be exposed to the virus. The research will yield key information regarding frontline workers who are immune and may return to work and those who need to isolate to avoid infecting families, colleagues and patients. The rapid response initiative will also develop procedures to better understand previous exposures, provide estimates for real numbers of infection on the front line, capture critical information on asymptomatic infection, and assess mental health outcomes.

“Our UCLA COVID-19 Rapid Response Initiative combines leading-edge research on COVID-19 with critical screenings for frontline health care workers and first responders in Los Angeles,” Dr. Rimoin said. “The research arm of this study will provide critical data on asymptomatic infection, reinfection, and durability of immune response that can influence policy and provide critical data to protect our frontline health workforce in real time. The service arm of this initiative will provide vital assistance to our most precious health resources by regularly screening them for COVID-19.”

Dr. Rimoin has assembled a cross-disciplinary initiative led by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health (FSPH) and in collaboration with the David Geffen School of Medicine (DGSOM), which includes a team of physician scientists, epidemiologists, infectious disease clinicians, virologists, immunologists, and biostatisticians for the effort.

Read the motion here

Learn more about the study here.

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Assistant City Council President Pro Tempore David E. Ryu represents Los Angeles’ 4th Council District which includes Griffith Park, Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and portions of Koreatown and Van Nuys.


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