The city of San Antonio filed a lawsuit Monday against the federal government, including several agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services, to prevent further releases of individuals who have been quarantined at Lackland Air Force Base without the city’s input and demands.
The move follows the CDC’s release of a woman from quarantine at Lackland AFB, who later tested positive for the coronavirus.
The litigation filed in US District Court aims to obtain a temporary restraining order over the government’s actions to release individuals from quarantine and the government’s “failure to consult with and incorporate local government in the planning and implementation process, and risks imposing a serious burden on the City’s emergency services.”
As part of its efforts to protect its community from the outbreak, the city is also demanding that patients undergo three tests for coronavirus, instead of the current two, as part of the protocol to end their quarantine.
The lawsuit is also seeking a protocol that would be agreed between the city, the state of Texas and the CDC prior to releasing patients who are under quarantine.
City officials are also asking the court to maintain the status quo of the surgeon general’s exercise of quarantine authority. The surgeon general, with the approval of the health and human services secretary, is legally authorized to make and enforce a quarantine if he deems it necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States.