January 2021

january 28, 2021 update
Chinese Translation

Update on New Health Officer Order
As we announced Monday, the State of California rescinded the regional Stay-at-Home order, citing that their 4-week data projections showing improved ICU capacity in LA County by February 21st.

With this news from the State, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced that it would work to align their Health Officer Order with the State’s orders for those counties in Tier One (Purple) of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. This is taking place in two phases.

Effective this past Monday, the following activities were permitted with adherence to all sector-specific directives for distancing, face coverings, and infection control:

  • Private gatherings outdoors up to 3 households and up to a total of 15 people
  • Museums, zoos, aquariums outdoor operations at 50% occupancy
  • Miniature golf, go karts, batting cages outdoor operations at 50% occupancy
  • Outdoor recreational activities are open
  • Hotels & motels for tourism and individual travel allowed
  • Fitness facilities open for outdoor operations
  • Personal care services open indoors at 25% capacity
  • Indoor mall, shopping center, lower-risk retail open at 25% indoor capacity; food courts and common areas closed

Starting tomorrow (Friday), the County has announced that further restrictions will be lifted, although the new Health Officer Order has not been released, and we are unsure what exact parameters will be required to be followed, or if other changes or restrictions could be included.

  • Resumption of outdoor dining at restaurants
  • Elimination of non-essential businesses curfew of 10:00pm – 5:00am
We are all relieved that new cases of the virus are starting to level off in San Marino and Los Angeles County, though please remember hospitalizations are still high, community spread is remains rampant, and public health officials are investigating potential new variants of the virus that may be more contagious. With these reopenings, it is more important than ever to wear your face coverings and maintain physical distance whenever you leave your house

Vaccine Update
Those 65 and older continue to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, though appointments remain extremely limited due to low vaccine inventory. New appointments are posted on the County website at www.VaccinateLACounty.com. The County is now using the State's new appointment registration platform, MyTurn. Those who are registered can receive alerts when new appointments become available, or when vaccinations are allowed for additional priority groups. 

We do not know when the County will make more appointments available, so while we will do our best to let you know, the spots usually fill up in minutes. We recommend that you continually check back. You can also follow LA County Public Health on Facebook and Twitter, because they sometimes post when new appointments are available.

We know this process is frustrating at best, but we thank you for your patience. On a more positive note, we are getting good news about the vaccine’s effectiveness. ABC News reported that the Los Angeles County Fire Department has seen a dramatic decrease in its COVID-19 positivity rate since 75% of their firefighters have been vaccinated– dropping from 18% in December to 5.6%. We look forward to continued good news and more and more people get vaccinated.

January 25, 2021 update
Chinese Translation

State and County Changes to Health Officer Orders – Some Sectors to Open with Modifications Immediately; Outdoor Dining to Follow on Friday

Today, the State of California rescinded the regional Stay-at-Home order, citing that their 4-week data projections show ICU capacity getting to 33% in LA County by February 21st. You can read their press release here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/NR21-030.aspx.

As you know, the County of Los Angeles has the ability to keep more restrictive orders, so it is actually more important for us to look to the County for their response to this. This afternoon, the County announced that it would work to align their Health Officer Order with the State’s orders for those counties in Tier One (Purple) of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. This will take place in two stages:

  1. Effective immediately, the County is reverting back to the Health Officer Order they issued on November 25, 2020. This order allows for small, outdoor gatherings of no more than 15 people and 3 households; outdoor operations at 50% capacity for family entertainment centers, museums, zoos, and fitness centers; the resumption of recreational activities; personal care services to open for indoor services at 25% capacity; and the reopening of hotels and motels for tourism and individual travel. Please note that this order does not allow for in-person dining of any kind. You can read the full order here: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/docs/HOO/2020_11_25_SUSPENDED_HOO_Safer_at_Home_Surge_Response_AlignCAorders.pdf.
  2. On Friday, the County will release a new Health Officer Order that will further align with the State’s order. The biggest addition at this point will be the allowance of outdoor dining, with further safety modifications.

As we get more information on Friday’s new order and other important nuances, we will pass it on.

january 21, 2021 update
Chinese Translation

San Marino Case Update
Last week, we reported 294 cases of COVID-19 in San Marino. As of yesterday, we are now at 326 cases – an increase in 32 diagnosed cases in our community in just one week. That puts us at 58 new diagnosed cases in a 14-day period. Of the 7,253 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in LA County, 23% are in the ICU.

While we are all excited to turn our focus to vaccine distribution, please remember that transmission risk remains high, with outbreaks still occurring regularly at workplaces, grocery stores, schools, airports, and fitness centers.

If you do not feel comfortable leaving your home and need help securing essential goods, please call the City’s dedicated resident support hotline at (626) 300-0731 during normal business hours and we will help ensure you get what you need to stay safe. 

Vaccine Update
As you know, the County officially opened up vaccine eligibility to anyone 65 and older this week, and while some people were able to get appointments, the vast majority either experienced technical difficulties when the County’s website went down, or were unable to find openings.

While this is extremely frustrating, it is important for all of us to understand the reality of the situation. With almost 1.4 million LA County residents aged 65 and older, and between 700,000-800,000 eligible healthcare workers, the number of vaccines required to complete two doses is over 4 million. Since doses first arrived 5 weeks ago on December 14, the County has received only 853,650 doses, including doses that arrived yesterday.

Because of this, the County only will continue to have a very limited number of vaccination appointments available for the immediate future. The County will be updating its website with more appointments as soon as available, so we encourage you to keep checking www.VaccinateLACounty.com (or going to http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/vaccine/hcwsignup/).

For those without access to a computer or the internet, a call center is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. to help schedule appointments at 833-540-0473. It may also be possible to receive a vaccine through your healthcare provider if you are in this high-priority age group. You should expect to hear from them directly, but you can also reach out to them to see if they have or will be receiving vaccines.

While the City is happy to help you in any way we can, please note that we unfortunately have no further information on vaccine availability other than what we are reporting to you from the County. If we learn anything new or their distribution protocols change, we will of course let you know immediately.

We all wish the vaccine rollout had gone smoother and that more vaccines were available, but we are hopeful that vaccine supply will continue to increase and that the County will be able to get more people vaccinated in the weeks and months to come. Thank you for your continued patience and commitment to safety protocols in the meantime.  

City Facilities Remain Closed Through February 28, 2021
Due to the continued rise in cases and community transmission risk, the City will be continuing the closure of City facilities through February 28, 2021. City business will 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: www.cityofsanmarino.org/covid19.    

January 20, 2021 Update
Chinese Translation

Yesterday, the statewide system utilized by LA County for vaccine registrations experienced extremely high traffic. While some people were able to make appointments, we know many others were not. At this time, the County is reporting that there are no more appointment slots available at County sites. However, they are working to increase their vaccine supply and are likely to add additional appointments later this week. Please continue to check www.VaccinateLACounty.com frequently (or the direct signup link at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/vaccine/hcwsignup/).

January 19, 2021 Update
Chinese Translation 

An Update on Conflicting Vaccine Distribution Information and Current Status; 65+ Now Eligible
First and foremost, we share the frustration about the conflicting and confusing information on vaccine rollout for LA County residents. While this is a big endeavor for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), we know that clear and consistent information during such a scary time would be helpful.

On Monday, January 18, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors signed an executive order directing the LA County Department of Public Health to make vaccine appointments available to anyone 65 and older, starting this Thursday, January 21. This may have been surprising, since this is a change from the Department of Public Health’s previously announced plan of waiting until all healthcare workers were vaccinated before opening up eligibility for residents who are 65+.

You are now eligible to sign up for an appointment if you are 65+ at www.VaccinateLACounty.com. (If you have trouble accessing that link, try http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/vaccine/hcwsignup/.)

Please be aware that vaccine supply is very limited, and appointments are being released slowly as supply increases. We are hearing reports of multiple people not being able to find appointments at this time, though others have been able to. Please check back often, or call your healthcare provider to see if they have other avenues. Residents who don’t have computer access may call (833) 540-0473 between 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. for assistance with reservations.

As a reminder, the City of San Marino falls under the authority of the LACDPH vaccine distribution plan, and we unfortunately are at their mercy.  (Our neighbor, the City of Pasadena, has its own Public Health Department and Health Officer, and therefore has its own allocation of vaccines and process for distribution separate from the rest of the County. This is the reason you may be hearing conflicting information from your friends in Pasadena.)

The City will always share new information we receive from the County, but please consider the County’s website (www.VaccinateLACounty.com) as the vaccination information hub.  This is where you can go to learn about the vaccine, find out if you are eligible, and schedule an appointment to get vaccinated. We ask that you help us spread this link to your friends and family in the area.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding. While there will probably be more bumps in the road as vaccine eligibility is greater than vaccine doses available, we are hopeful that there will be more clarity and progress soon.

January 14, 2021 update
Chinese Translation

San Marino Case Update and Staying Safe During Surge
Last week, we reported 256 cases of COVID-19 in San Marino. As of today, we are now at 302 cases – an increase in 46 diagnosed cases in our community in just one week. And tragically, the County is now reporting 11 associated deaths in our city. We send our deepest sympathies to those in our community who are mourning the loss of loved ones.
Transmission risk remains the highest it has ever been. Los Angeles Department of Public Health is reporting more and more outbreaks at workplaces, stores, schools, airports, and fitness centers. Because of this, Public Health is urging everyone to take even more precautions during the month of January. Their recommendations include:
  1. Avoid all gatherings and crowds
  2. Shop for essentials at off hours
  3. Try to never remove your face covering when near others, and avoid eating or drinking with anyone not in your household
  4. Wash and sanitize your hands every hour if you are around others
  5. Wear your face coverings in your home if you live with individuals who are elderly or have health conditions
If you do not feel comfortable leaving your home and need help securing essential goods, please call the City’s dedicated resident support hotline at (626) 300-0731 during normal business hours and we will help ensure you get what you need to stay safe. 

Vaccine Update
We know that there is quite a bit of changing information about vaccine distribution and prioritization, leading to obvious questions about how, when, and where people can get vaccinated. The County of Los Angeles is currently focused on Phase 1A – frontline healthcare workers and staff/residents at skilled nursing facilities.
Yesterday, however, the State announced a change in statewide guidance to allow anyone over the age of 65 to be eligible. As the County nears the end of Phase 1A, it will look to starting vaccinations for groups within the next phase, starting with those who are 65 and older to follow the State’s new direction. However, due to the size and complexity of LA County, they are not yet ready to open up vaccine distribution to this group at this moment.
And while there have also been reports that other groups are allowed to receive the vaccine if there are excess doses set to expire, the County reports that they are fully using their supply and have not needed to exercise this option. 
The best way to get the most up-to-date information is by visiting www.VaccinateLACounty.com, the County’s COVID-19 VACCINE webpage to get updates and sign-up for email updates that will provide more information. The County expects to have more information on how this next group can get vaccinated as we get nearer to the end of January. We will of course keep you informed as well. 
The County assures us that they are working diligently with pharmacy chains, private partners, and other channels to ensure broad coverage throughout the County, and they are working with the State to increase our vaccine supply.
If you are a healthcare worker who has not received a vaccine, you can visit the County’s dedicated page to make an appointment to be vaccinated: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/vaccine/hcwsignup/
We know everyone is eager to get vaccinated, but we appreciate your patience as the County works to make sure vaccines are distributing equitably and as quickly as possible. 

January 7, 2021 update
Chinese Translation

Cases in San Marino Continue to Surge
San Marino ended 2020 with 244 COVID-19 cases. As of yesterday, we are now at 256 cases in our community. Our Fire Department is seeing this dangerous increase first hand. During the month of December, they were dispatched to 21 incidents where COVID-19 was either confirmed or suspected as a contributing factor – a 91% increase from November 2020.  In addition to COVID incidents identified at time of dispatch, they responded to an estimated 14 additional incidents in which COVID was either suspected or confirmed by on-scene paramedics, for a total of 35 COVID incidents.  36% of all COVID responses during the 2020 calendar year occurred during the month of December, with 16 incidents occurring in the two weeks following Thanksgiving.

Impact on Healthcare System and Non-COVID Patients
The continued surge in cases is now tragically impacting our entire healthcare system, as hospitals are overburdened by an influx of COVID-19 patients in the emergency room and ICU. This means that anyone experiencing non-COVID health emergencies may not receive the world-class care they would expect from our local hospitals.

Ambulance wait times to off-load patients and transfer care to hospital staff have increased while paramedics wait for a bed to become available for transported patients.  The average hospital wait time during the entirety of 2020 was 29 minutes.  However, in December 2020, 10% of all incidents requiring patient transport had a wait time of greater than 1 hour.  On one occasion, our ambulance was required to wait at the hospital for 3 hours.  While paramedics wait for a bed to become available for transported patients, our ambulance is unavailable to respond to residents in need of our help, and the City of San Marino must rely on neighboring agencies to provide aid.

What We Can Do
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is concerned that numbers will continue to rise throughout January as a result of the holiday season, making the dangerous situation explained above even more dangerous. Please remember that since rates are so high, you run the risk of exposure whenever you leave your house. While the Health Officer order is not being changed at this time, Public Health is giving the following recommendations and reminders:

  • Try to never remove your face covering when near others, and avoid eating or drinking with anyone not in your household.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands every hour if you are around others. 
  • Take a break from shopping and avoid any other non-essential activities or gatherings.
  • Exercise by yourself or with members from your household. 

And as always, please remember to wear your face coverings and maintain physical distancing whenever you leave your home.

Vaccine Update
The County continues to receive more vaccines for frontline healthcare works, and is preparing to expand the group eligible to other healthcare workers at non-acute centers. They also continue to prepare vaccination sites and coordinate with pharmacies for further vaccine accessibility.

Based upon state guidance, the County has updated their vaccine prioritization information, which can be found here: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/covidvaccinedistribution/. Their priorities are based upon the following CDPH (state) vaccine priorities: https://covid19.ca.gov/vaccines/#When-can-I-get-vaccinated

For more information about the vaccine rollout and prioritization, you can go to the County’s dedicated website at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/vaccine/.

In the upper left of the page, you can subscribe to receive vaccine updates directly from the County. Because this is a dynamic process tied to supply and demand, we do expect continued changes to prioritization. We will do all we can to keep you informed, especially as rollout moves beyond targeted frontline healthcare workers.

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