December 29, 2020 Update
We hope you are all having an enjoyable holiday season and that you are finding ways to virtually celebrate with family and friends. As we look ahead to 2021, we are hopeful for a better year and the beginning of a return to normalcy, but as you know, we are in the middle of one of the worst times of the COVID-19 pandemic, as case numbers continue to rise and hospitals across the region are being forced to plan for unprecedented demand.
Last week, we reported 192 cases in San Marino. As of December 28th, we are now at 223 cases – a 16% increase in our cases in just one week. And tragically, 6 members of our community have died from COVID-19, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Huntington Hospital Care During a Public Health Emergency – Community Letter
Huntington Hospital recently released a letter to the community explaining their planned protocols should a post-holiday surge overwhelm the hospital. It is a sobering document to read, but a strong reminder of why we all need to continue to do what we can to keep each other safe. You can read it here: https://www.huntingtonhospital.org/our-services/emergency-trauma/hospital-preparedness-covid-19-information/care-during-a-public-health-emergency/
Health Officer Order
Because of the continued rise in case numbers and hospitalizations, the LA County Department of Public Health has extended the current health officer order indefinitely. For a refresher on what is allowed and not, you can read it here: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/docs/HOO/HOO_SaferatHome_SurgeResponse.pdf
Post-Travel Quarantine Requirements & Celebrating Safely
In its press release yesterday, the County also announced that it is also requiring all people who have traveled outside of LA County to quarantine for 10 days. As a reminder, the virus can take up to 14 days to incubate, and for many people the virus causes no illness or symptoms. If you go back to work, go shopping, or go to any gatherings at any point after travel, you could easily pass on the virus to others without even realizing it. The best way to safely quarantine is to not leave your home or allow any visitors to your home, and to find others who can help you buy groceries and other essential necessities. If you need assistance acquiring essential goods during your quarantine, you can call our dedicated Resident Support Hotline at (626) 300-0731, or the County’s 24-hour hotline at 2-1-1.
Even if you did not travel, or do not plan to travel, please stay home as much as possible, avoid gatherings with anyone outside of your household (including on New Year’s Eve), and continue to wear your face coverings and physically distance when you are outside of your home and around other people. By doing this, we can ring in 2021 with the hope of better days to come very soon.
We wish all of you a safe, happy, and healthy 2021.
December 22, 2020 Update
A HOLIDAY MESSAGE FROM MAYOR UDE
Mayor Ken Ude sends his wishes for a happy and safe holiday season:
STAYING SAFE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Cases in San Marino, the region, and the state continue to rise to alarming levels. For the past three weeks, the County has nearly tripled the daily average number of cases; from 4,000 new cases a day to over 14,000 new cases a day. In San Marino, have 192 reported cases as of yesterday – a 51% increase in our total reported cases since only December 1st.
Because of this, our hospitals are being severely impacted and are already over capacity. Yesterday, Public Health reported the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in a day with 5,709 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Since November 9, average daily hospitalizations of people with COVID-19 increased more than 650%.
Public Health warns that without a change in how we celebrate the winter holidays, Los Angeles County will experience a surge on top of a surge on top of a surge – something we simply cannot afford. We ask that you please follow state and county health orders and celebrate the holidays only with those in your immediate household. And if you are out of your house, please remember that the best way to keep you and others safe is to wear your face covering and keep at least six feet of physical distance. All available scientific information tells us that it really is that simple.
We know this is not how any of us want to celebrate this holiday season, but we thank you for doing your part to help us get back together in 2021.
COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE
We continue to get more and more positive news about the COVID-19 vaccines. Since last week, another vaccine was approved for emergency use by the FDA, and frontline emergency healthcare workers have already begun receiving their first dose. As the County receives more allotments of both vaccines, they will begin vaccinating residents and healthcare workers at skilled nursing facilities, as well as other healthcare workers and first responders.
We are happy to report that our very own emergency first responders in the Fire Department are considered “Phase 1A health care workers” and due to some last-minute availability, were given the opportunity to get their first dose of the vaccine today. The rest of the Fire Department who could not attend today will have the opportunity to get the vaccine next week.
While the County is still focused on this “Phase 1A” vaccine rollout, they have announced that, following CDC guidance, the next tiers within this first phase are as follows:
- People 75 years and older and other frontline essential workers, including but not limited to police officers, teachers and school staff, and grocery store workers.
- People who are 65 years or older and individuals 16 years and older with significant underlying health conditions, as well as any additional essential workers not previously included.
No timeline has been announced for these expanded tiers. We will keep you informed as we hear more information, and you can also read more information about the County’s vaccination plans at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.
Fire Chief Rueda and Paramedic Coordinator Tsay getting their COVID-19 vaccine dose
December 17, 2020 update
COVID-19 CASES AND DEATHS CONTINUE TO SURGE AND BREAK RECORDS
Yesterday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced the highest number of new COVID-19 deaths, cases, and hospitalizations since the beginning of the pandemic. They reported 138 new deaths, 22,432 new cases, and 4,656 people currently hospitalized.
During the last week of November, the County averaged about 5,900 new cases a day – yesterday’s number of new cases was nearly four times the November average. Last week, we informed you that there were 127 cases in San Marino as of December 1st. As of yesterday (December 16th), there were 170 cases – an almost 34% increase in our total cases in just over two weeks.
As a result, available hospital capacity is decreasing to alarming levels and healthcare workers are being pushed to the limits – working tirelessly to help people infected with COVID-19 as well as other illnesses. With transmissions rates so high and hospital capacity so low, we need to all understand that things that may have been safe in the fall are unfortunately not safe right now, and the single most important thing we can do to keep ourselves and our essential workers safe is to stay home and avoid gatherings with others this holiday season. If you cannot stay home and need to participate in an essential activity, please wear your face covering at all times you could be near other people, and maintain physical distancing from anyone not in your household.
CITY FACILITIES TO REMAIN CLOSED THROUGH JANUARY 31, 2021
Due to the new rise in cases and danger of community transmission, especially during the holiday season, the City will be continuing the closure of City facilities through January 31, 2021. City business may continue to be conducted by phone, email, and limited in-person appointments when necessary. For more information about what this means for each department and facility, please visit our COVID-19 status page on the City website: https://www.cityofsanmarino.org/coronavirus/index.php.
COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE
Despite the alarming rise in community transmission of COVID-19, we have all been hearing the great news about vaccine approval and initial distribution. LA County is developing a tiered system that prioritizes frontline healthcare workers and vulnerable residents of congregate care facilities. Today, LA County announced an effort to vaccinate 6,000 frontline healthcare workers by Christmas. As news about vaccine rollout to other groups becomes available, we will keep you informed. If you are interested in learning more about the vaccine and efforts to vaccinate, the County is hosting a virtual town hall tonight (Thursday, December 17th) at 6:00 PM. You can participate by going to Public Health’s Facebook page or YouTube channel @(LAPUBLICHEALTH).
December 10, 2020 Update
A Somber Reminder of COVID-19 Case Surge in San Marino
We are all concerned about the alarming rise in cases in our community. In all of November, the County reported 25 new cases in San Marino. In the first 9 days of December alone, we have already matched that with 25 more new cases, showing just how quickly the virus is spreading. We know how difficult and scary this, but please help us stop this surge by staying home as much as possible, wearing your face coverings whenever you are not in your home, and maintaining physical distance from anyone not in your household. Now is a critical time to (virtually) come together and keep each other safe.
Lacy Park Playground Allowed to Reopen
As we continue to adapt and respond to understandably changing health orders from the County and State, we are pleased to announce that both the County and the State have reconsidered the closure of playgrounds due to the need for children to have an important outdoor outlet. Because of this, we have reopened the Lacy Park playground with the same protocols that were previously in place, including reduced capacity, physical distancing, and required face coverings. Please note that the treehouse is closed pending a safety inspection.
Reassessment of Resumption of Parking Enforcement
While the City was originally set to resume overnight parking restrictions on January 1, the recent surge in cases and renewed Stay-at-Home Order has led us to rethink this decision, and we will be pausing our decision to restart enforcement until a conversation with City Council at the January 13 Council meeting about the best path forward. Thank you for your understanding as we do our best to adapt and meet the needs of our residents.
A General Update on City Services and Safety Protocols
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City has remained staffed to ensure essential business and important services are available, but we have closed City facilities to the public to ensure the safety of both community members and staff, unless there is an essential need for an in-person appointment.
With this alarming surge in cases and new health officer orders and guidelines, we wanted to take this opportunity to make a few clarifications and updates. A full status update on all City services can be found here: https://www.cityofsanmarino.org/coronavirus/index.php
- Community Development: Community Development staff is only taking in-person appointments to provide assistance with projects with approved entitlements and to allow for building permits for emergency or public safety projects. For other requests or services, staff is available via phone email, or virtual appointments as necessary.
- Community Services: Crowell Library is still closed to the public but is providing virtual programming and the curbside pick-up of books and other materials. For more information, visit crowellpubliclibrary.org. Offices serving the Community Services Department at Stoneman are also closed to the public, and in-person recreational programming remains canceled through Jan. 31. For more information, call (626) 403-2200.
- Fire Department: The Fire Department is open for emergencies only. For inspections, fire and tent permit requests, or general inquiries, contact (626) 300-0735 or email email@example.com. Medical payments may be made through our billing service Wittman Enterprises at (800) 906-6552 or webillems.com.
- Police Department: The Police Department is currently closed to the due to building repairs as well as COVID-19. Anyone needing to speak with the department can do so by calling (626) 300-0720. Staff will either meet with you in person or by telephone depending on the request. The department is not able to do fingerprints or live scan during the construction phase of the closure.
December 5, 2020 Update
State Issues Regional Stay-at-Home Order Triggered by ICU Capacity; Southern California Now Under Order
As we briefly mentioned in our Thursday update, California health officials announced a Regional Stay at Home Order that would be enacted if a region’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) capacity drops below 15%. Los Angeles County falls into the Southern California region, which is made up of the following counties: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura.
This weekend, the State announced that Southern California’s ICU capacity dropped to 12.5%. Unfortunately, this means that LA County and all other counties in the Southern California region will be under this new Stay at Home Order as of Sunday, December 6th at 11:59 PM. The order will remain in effect for at least 3 weeks.
A summary of the order and some key highlights are below, but you can read the full order and more details here: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/#regional-stay-home-order. Los Angeles County has also aligned their Health Officer Order to match this, and you can find more details from the County here: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/phcommon/public/media/mediapubhpdetail.cfm?prid=2843
What Does the Order Do?
The new order instructs Californians to stay at home as much as possible to limit the mixing with other households that can lead to COVID-19 spread. It allows access to (and travel for) critical services and allows outdoor activities to preserve Californians’ physical and mental health.
Some of the restrictions of the order are already in place in LA County, including a ban on all private gatherings, a restriction on in-person dining at restaurants, and closure of playgrounds and indoor recreational facilities. However, it makes the following additions, and requires 100% masking and physical distancing at any open business or recreational facility.
- Hair salons, barbershops, and other personal care services must close.
- Museums, zoos, and aquariums must close (including outdoor operations).
- Hotels and lodging are only allowed to be open for critical infrastructure support
- All retail, whether essential or non-essential, must drop to 20% capacity with entrance metering and no eating or drinking in stores.
- Outdoor recreational facilities are allowed to remain open, but without any food, drink or alcohol sales. Overnight stays at campgrounds will not be permitted.
We understand how difficult this is, and how much we’re all ready to return to normal, but we have to find a way to stop this surge before our healthcare system is overwhelmed and people cannot receive the care they need. Let’s do what we can make this as happy of a holiday season as possible by staying home when we can, wearing our face coverings whenever we leave home, and always maintaining physical distancing.
December 3, 2020 Update
Video Update from Dr. Anvekar
San Marino resident Dr. Madhu Anvekar was generous enough to provide a new video message to update our community on the alarming surge in COVID-19 cases, what they're seeing at Huntington Hospital as a result, and what we can all do to protect each other until a vaccine is ready. We know Dr. Anvekar is very busy working on the front line, and we can't thank him enough for both his service and for still taking time to talk directly to our community.
Reminder: New Safer at Home Order Issued to Stop Surge in COVID-19 Cases; Cases in San Marino Continue to Dramatically Increase
As a reminder, LA County announced a modified Safer at Home Order that went into effect Monday. The purpose of this order is to encourage people to stay home as much as possible and to limit allowable activities to those where face coverings and physical distancing are possible. Full details can be found here, but as a reminder, public and private gatherings with people outside your household are not allowed (unless it is an outdoor protest or religious service), restaurants are restricted to takeout and delivery only, and masks and physical distancing are required when you leave your home to go into businesses or engage in recreational activities, whether indoor or outdoor.
Just today, the State announced that a more severe Safer at Home Order that may be coming to regions of California that fall below 15% capacity for ICU beds. No regions have been put under this order yet, and we will keep you informed of any changes in LA County.
We know this is frustrating and difficult for everyone, especially our small businesses, but these restrictions were put into place because of a real concern that our healthcare system is getting overwhelmed, with healthcare workers already burdened after almost 9 months of tirelessly working, and cases dramatically rising.
Yesterday, the County reported that there were 129 total COVID-19 cases in San Marino. That is an increase in 15 cases in just one week. During the month of November, the San Marino Fire Department responded to a total of 11 confirmed or suspected COVID incidents in which patients required advanced life support. This accounts for a 175% increase in incidents over October, and is the most number of COVID responses in one month since the beginning of the pandemic.
Huntington Hospital in Pasadena also reports patients who are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, and they are reporting a steep increase in patients admitted with COVID-19, as you can see in the graph below, or on their website here. We ask that you please take County health orders and guidance seriously so we can help keep everyone in our community safe and out of the hospital.