April 2020

April 30, 2020 Update
Chinese Translation 

A Video Reminder – Safer at Home Restrictions Remain in Effect
Please see below for an important video message from Council Member Talt, who reminds us that even as we start hearing about plans for reopening, the Safer at Home order is still very much in effect, and no actual dates for relaxing the County or State orders have been given. Council Member Huang has also provided a version in Chinese. We encourage you to watch and share these very important and informative videos.

City of San Marino Communications and Services – Input Requested
As we hope you have noticed, as part of the City of San Marino's COVID-19 response, the City has increased our weekly communications, broadened our communication channels, and expanded City services to ensure our residents are well informed and to provide assistance during these unprecedented events. We hope these communications and services have been valuable, but we are always looking for ways to improve. We encourage you to fill out the survey at the link below to provide feedback on how we can better serve you and your fellow residents during this time.


New Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program Launches
This week, as part of the federal CARES Act, the State of California launched the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program to help Californians negatively impacted by COVID-19 who are not usually eligible for regular state unemployment insurance benefits. This includes business owners, self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and those with limited work histories, among others. You can learn more about the program and apply here: https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/pandemic-unemployment-assistance.htm.

In the video below, Human Resources Manager Pilch provides further information. 

EDD Website: https://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/UI_Online.htm
How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance Benefits:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rPFvfznZvg

April 23, 2020 Update
Chinese Translation

Physical Distancing and Face Coverings
Thank you to everyone for their adherence to the revised Safer at Home order, which, as you know, extends the order through May 15th and also requires face coverings at any essential businesses. If you are able to properly maintain 6 feet of physical distancing while enjoying walks or physical activity with your immediate household, the order does not require you to wear a face covering. That is why, for example, you may not see all individuals wearing face coverings when visiting Lacy Park. As the weather continues to warm up and we see more people taking advantage of our beautiful park, we do ask that you be extra mindful of maintaining 6 feet of distance.

Please also note that children under the age of 2 are not advised nor required to wear a face covering, and children between the ages of 2 and 8 should wear them with adult help and supervision. Children with breathing problems or adults who are not able to put on or remove a face covering themselves are also not required to wear face coverings.

We understand this is a challenging time with many uncertainties. As new information about any relaxation of the Safer at Home order and our shift towards recovery becomes available, we will keep you informed.

Face Coverings Infographic

Resources for People with Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Concerns
Los Angeles County and the City of San Marino recognize that staying at home is not always the safe option for victims experiencing domestic violence. Please remember that law enforcement is still responding to domestic violence calls, and Emergency Protective Orders are still being issued. For further resources, please see this comprehensive press release from Los Angeles County: https://covid19.lacounty.gov/covid19-news/la-county-resources-and-services-available-for-people-with-domestic-violence-and-child-abuse-concerns-during-covid-19/.

Reminder: Key Resources and Information
We know the amount of information being released from different sources is both confusing and overwhelming. Please see below for a list of essential resources and information sources:

  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health - Public Health provides information on current cases in Los Angeles County, as well as any County-specific orders. There are also multiple resources and flyers on how to keep you, your family, and your community safe in various languages.
  • Federal Government Response  – The most up-to-date, verified information and guidance from the federal government, including the CDC and FEMA.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) - The WHO has information on worldwide case numbers, travel advice, and scientific answers to questions that may be circulating about COVID-19.

April 16, 2020 Update
Chinese Translation

A Video Update on the Safer at Home Extension and New Face Covering Requirements
In the video below, Council Member Jakubowski takes a few minutes to tell us a bit more about the Safer at Home order extension and the new face covering requirement, while also reminding us to find ways to get outside. Council Member Huang has also provided a version translated into Chinese. Please watch and share!

Safety Changes at Lacy Park
Thank you to everyone for understanding and observing the temporary closure of Lacy Park last Sunday. We are dedicated to finding ways to safely keep Lacy Park open for the long term. As we prepare for warmer weather and more visitors, the City will be introducing two new safety protocols starting tomorrow, April 17th:

  • Due to declined usage and the resources needed to keep them clean, the old restrooms at the park will be closed. However, the 6 regular and 2 accessible portable restrooms will remain open and will continue to be cleaned regularly by our vendor.  
  • In an effort to make social distancing easier, the outer and inner walking/running loops will now be designated with one-way directions, with the Outer Loop being counterclockwise and the Inner Loop being clockwise. Signage will be posted accordingly to aid visitors.

Thank you again for your continued support in helping us keep Lacy Park open and safe to visitors. If you have any questions, please contact our Parks and Public Works Department at (626) 300-0765 or via email at publicworks@cityofsanmarino.org.

Get City and County News Via Text
We are excited to announce a partnership with COVIDSMS, a texting platform that was created by a group of Stanford and Johns Hopkins Computer Science and Public Health students who identified a need for streamlined local communication as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Serena Wang, one of the creators, is a Valentine Elementary School, Huntington Middle School, and San Marino High School alum and proud resident of San Marino.  In high school, she was an active member of the Speech and Debate team, becoming a national finalist in 2016, and Varsity Swim Team Captain. She is currently a junior at Johns Hopkins studying Public Health. 

The platform provides a simple and accessible method for community members to stay up to date with County case numbers statistics and now, to also get information from the City directly via text.

Serena and her team are busy working to add City updates as an option in addition to County case numbers for our area, but you can still sign up now by texting “91108” to (888) 414-5539. Once the City news option is added, you will receive a text allowing you to subscribe to our updates as well.

We hope this becomes another useful tool for receiving our City news related to COVID-19, and we thank Serena and her team for developing such a great service for us to utilize!

April 13, 2020 Update
Chinese Translation

More Information on County’s Safer at Home Extension and Face Coverings Requirement

As we announced briefly on Friday, LA County announced an extension of the “Safer at Home” Public Health Order through May 15, 2020. They have also updated the order to require cloth face coverings for patrons and employees at essential businesses, effective starting on April 15. The full order can be read here: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/HOO_Safer_at_Home_Order_for_Control_of_COVID_04102020.pdf

We wanted to provide a bit more clarification on the order and what it means for individuals and businesses.

Extension of Order through May 15
The County extended the Safer at Home order through May 15, 2020, but the restrictions on where you can go remain the same. Public and private gatherings of any size are prohibited, but you can leave your house to go to an essential business or receive an essential service. You can also still participate in essential activities like physical exercise as long as you practice social distancing and only come within 6 feet of people in your immediate household. Restaurants can remain open only for takeout and delivery, and Los Angeles County trails and beaches remain closed (though County parks are open for personal use).

Cloth Face Coverings at Essential Businesses
The major change to the order is that the public is now required to wear a cloth face covering while visiting  essential businesses, and likewise, employees are required to also wear cloth face while working at these essential businesses – while still practicing social distancing. This change was made due to new evidence that shows that these face coverings can help reduce the release of infectious particles into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, especially since the virus can be spread by asymptomatic people. It is important to note that:

  • Cloth face coverings are not the same as masks. Surgical and medical-grade masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and first responders. There are many different homemade options available for face coverings (like scarves, bandanas, and t-shirts), and more information on them can be found here: https://covid19.lacounty.gov/face-coverings/
  • The order requires you to wear a face covering when entering an essential business. It does NOT require you to wear one if you leave your house to get physical exercise if you can ensure proper social distancing protocols are still being adhered to.
  • Face coverings are NOT a substitute for physical distancing and washing hands, but rather an additional protection mechanism.

New Requirements for Essential Businesses
The order also places new requirements on essential businesses that remain open.  Businesses only have until Wednesday, April 15th to comply with these new requirements:

  • Essential businesses are required to provide cloth face coverings to all employees to wear while performing duties which involve contact w/other employees and/or the public.

If you are a San Marino business and have questions about this requirement or need support, please contact Planning & Building Director Aldo Cervantes at (626) 300-0710 or via email at acervantes@cityofsanmarino.org.

If you have other general questions about the revised order or other COVID-19 related issues, please call our resident support hotline at (626) 300-0731. As more information about the order comes to light, we will be sure to share it with you.

April 10, 2020 Update
Chinese Translation

Extension and Update to County’s Safer at Home Order
This afternoon, LA County announced an extension of the “Safer at Home” Public Health Order through May 15, 2020. They have also updated the order to require cloth face coverings for patrons and employees at essential businesses, effective starting on April 15. We will look to provide more information about this extension and new measures next week when we have a fuller understanding of the impact on San Marino residents and businesses, but you can also read more at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/.

Video Message from your Elected Officials - An Update on City Services and How to Stay Safe
Please see below for a video message from Vice Mayor Ude, as well as a version by Council Member Huang in Chinese:

Community Services Virtual Activities Guide
To keep residents informed about all of the new virtual programs and activities being offered by our Recreation and Library staff, we are launching a weekly Virtual Activities Guide. Please click here for more details on next week’s activities!

April 9, 2020 Update
Chinese Translation

Lacy Park Closure on Easter Sunday – April 12
Earlier this week, LA County announced their decision to close all county parks for Easter Sunday, April 12.  (Please see https://parks.lacounty.gov/covid-19 for the official announcement.) These closures are due to concerns about crowding on this celebratory day. Because Lacy Park is already a popular destination, and because County closures may encourage even more visitors to our beloved Lacy Park, we have made the difficult decision to close Lacy Park for this Sunday, April 12. The park will remain open through Saturday and reopen on Monday, April 13. We believe that taking this precaution and protecting visitors from excessive crowds will help us keep Lacy Park open for the longer term.

Thank you for your understanding and support as we make these hard but necessary decisions. We hope you all find creative ways to have a safe but memorable Easter weekend with your family and community as we continue to follow the Safer at Home orders.

New City Services – Online Payments
As physical access to City facilities remains limited, City staff has been working hard to find alternative ways to ensure residents have access to the help and services they need. We are excited to announce that we are now taking online payments for a variety of City services, with a particular focus on Planning & Building and Police Department services. We look forward to expanding these options even further in the coming weeks and months. You can see all of our online payment options here: https://www.cityofsanmarino.org/how_do_i/pay_for.php.

Community Services – More Virtual Programs and Activities Coming
We know that it is also imperative that we provide our residents with new virtual programs and activities that promote physical health, educational pursuits, and having some fun! Our Recreation Division and Crowell Public Library are still hard at work developing not just a list of resources, but virtual classes and events for our community. As you know, they have launched a “Virtual Recreation” site at https://www.cityofsanmarino.org/virtual_recreation.php, but they are also working on new “live” virtual programming, including an adult social time chat on Facebook every Wednesday at 11am, and a virtual storytime for kids every Thursday at 11am. More programs and details are available on a flyer here.

Connecting Virtually – A Video Update on our Communication Efforts
And finally, please see below for a video message from your City Manager, Dr. Marcella Marlowe, where she not only walks you through some of our communication methods to date, but announces the launch of our video series so we can continue staying socially connected during this period of social distancing. San Marino Detective Vanessa Golden has also provided the same video message in Chinese.


Donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The San Marino Police and Fire Departments have received several donations from our community of masks and hand sanitizers. We truly appreciate the kindness and concern all of you have shown us during this health pandemic.  Our Police Officers and Firefighter/Paramedics have had training in special response protocols, and the use of PPE.  

As of now, our inventory of those items is healthy.  However, one item, if available for donation that would be helpful is disposable surgical or safety gowns for use by our Police Officer and Firefighter/Paramedics when dealing with patients or suspects. These gowns (pictured below) are used every day by both our public safety personnel as part of our PPE.  Please donate masks and other items to those most in need such as our health care partners.

In our effort to protect our police officers and to keep them healthy, we have temporarily allowed the officers to wear masks while they go about their duties. They are also wearing our new wash-and-wear uniform. The uniform consists of cargo pants and a long sleeve polo shirt with our department badge sewn on the sleeves with our badge. Our officers will also have their identification card with them for further identification. These uniforms reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus to others especially their families.


April 6, 2020 Update
Chinese Translation

Extension of Event Cancellations and Restrictions on Public Access through May 31st
As we continue to learn new information about COVID-19 and the importance of social distancing measures, the City of San Marino has made the difficult but necessary decision to extend our event cancellations and restrictions on public access through May 31st.

Please see our COVID-19 resources page at www.cityofsanmarino.org/coronavirus for full updated information on how this impacts City of San Marino services, and how you can still get in touch with City staff. Residents and business owners can also call the City’s dedicated support hotline at (626) 300-0731.

An Update on San Marino Case Numbers
As we noted last week, COVID-19 case numbers are reported by Los Angeles County at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/locations.htm. Over the weekend, San Marino crossed the numerical threshold for reporting the specific number of cases and now has 5 cases being reported. Please see below for a few important points of clarification:

  1. The County is reporting the number of confirmed cases, not the number of deaths. It is unlikely we will receive information from the County on any deaths in San Marino.
  2. These case numbers refer to the permanent residence of the person who has tested positive, not necessarily the location where exposure/transmission occurred. We have no way of knowing if the exposure or transmission occurred in San Marino.

As we continue to see these numbers rise, it is critical that we all do our part and stay home unless it is critically necessary to leave for groceries or other essential services.

Key Resources and Information
We know the amount of information being released from different sources is both confusing and overwhelming. Please see below for a list of essential resources and information sources:

  • Los Angeles County Department of Public Health - Public Health provides information on current cases in Los Angeles County, as well as any County-specific orders. There are also multiple resources and flyers on how to keep you, your family, and your community safe in various languages.
  • State of California COVID-19 Response - The State of California is providing statewide case numbers, state guidelines, and other key services and resources for individuals.
  • Federal Government Response  – The most up-to-date, verified information and guidance from the federal government, including the CDC and FEMA.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) - The WHO has information on worldwide case numbers, travel advice, and scientific answers to questions that may be circulating about COVID-19.

April 2, 2020 Update and Message from Police Chief
Chinese Translation

Lacy Park
Following County guidelines, the City continues to keep Lacy Park open, with the exception of the playground. City staff is actively monitoring attendance multiple times a day, and, although we understand that the community is looking at park attendance with heightened anxiety, we can confirm that the level of visitors is consistent with what we normally observe and that people are properly observing social distancing requirements.

 The Parks and Public Works Department has also commenced a park bench/table disinfection protocol to ensure the cleanest seating for park patrons by spraying disinfectant several times each day on those surfaces. We encourage you to also take your own safety precautions if you use these shared areas, but as always, if a patron observes something that needs to be fixed or cleaned, please do not hesitate to speak with an orange-shirted staff member (at a safe distance, of course!), conveniently call us by phone at 626 300-0765, or email us at PublicWorks@CityOfSanMarino.org.

Updated Guidance on Face Coverings
Yesterday, the California Department of Public Health announced new guidance on face coverings, and the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health announced that they are re-evaluating their guidance on wearing face coverings due to new research that shows they may be an additional safeguard for those who must go out for essential needs. The State of California is not mandating the use of cloth face coverings and is reminding residents to continue to adhere to proven defense strategies even if cloth face coverings are used.

“Face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing or frequent hand washing, which we know are amongst the most effective ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Sonia Angell, Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Health Officer. “Wearing a cloth face covering could provide some additional benefit by acting as a reminder for other people to keep their distance, and it could help reduce the spread of infectious particles from those who could be infected but don’t have symptoms.”

Both the State and County urged the general public to reserve specialized N95 and surgical masks for healthcare workers who need them most to help protect us all. Instead, the general public can rely on homemade cloth face coverings like bandannas or scarfs when they leave their homes for essential needs. As more information on any new guidance is received, we will keep you informed, but you can read the State’s new guidance here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Face-Coverings-Guidance.aspx.

Resident Support Hotline Reminder
Our Emergency Operations Center has been working hard to coordinate the effort to ensure that all of our residents have the resources and supplies they need to stay healthy and safe. This includes staffing our resident hotline, proactively calling our senior residents whose contact information we have, coordinating with our Neighborhood Watch program Commanders, creating flyers with hotline information, and purchasing food or other essential supplies for those who are not comfortable leaving their home. Our Community Services Department has performed admirably, staffing the hotline, and reaching out to residents. If you need help, or if you are concerned about a neighbor who you think may need help, please call our resident hotline at (626) 300-0731, and staff will follow up with either a phone call or visit.Thank you for helping us remember that social distancing does not mean social disconnecting!

 A Safety Message from Police Chief John Incontro
I would like to discuss two areas of importance to our residents during the Safer at Home effort to reduce and eliminate COVID-19.  First, we are seeing an increase in thefts from unlocked vehicles, some package thefts, and scams.  Please be aware of anyone offering to sell you items that will prevent the virus or cure the virus.  We know there is not a cure or vaccine at this time.  We also know that practicing social distancing, washing your hands for 20 seconds or more, and using disinfectants to keep items clean and safe are some of the ways to stay healthy.

If you receive an unsolicited telephone call from someone offering a product like the one described, do not give them any information.  If you must, be polite and hang up.  Or, do not answer a call from a number you do not recognize.  If it is important, the caller will leave a voicemail. Many of us are ordering items online and having them delivered to our homes.  Follow the best practices the Police Department has spoken about in the past: do not leave packages on your front door step, and use alternative delivery areas than your home like a business mailbox or a friend who can accept the package at the time of delivery.

Also, do not leave items of value in an unlocked car, regardless of it is in your own driveway.  Hide it, lock it, keep it.  This simple brief act will reduce the likelihood of you and your neighbors becoming a victim of a crime.

April 1, 2020 Video Message

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