May 29, 2020 Update
Planning & Building Department Update
Last week, we announced the temporary full closure of the Planning and Building Department due to a potential COVID-19 exposure from a contract employee who briefly came into City Hall. We are happy to report that potentially exposed staff members have now tested negative, and the department will be back in operation starting this Monday, June 1. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this closure.
May 28, 2020 Update
New Health Officer Order Expands Reopening of LA County
Yesterday, Los Angeles County announced a revised Health Officer Order that continues our region’s recovery process and puts us in alignment with recent statewide guidelines. The new County order, now titled “Safer at Work and in the Community,” allows for the resumption of faith-based services, in-store shopping at low-risk retail stores, drive-in movies, and other recreational activities.
The following are highlights from the Order, which still requires that physical distancing requirements, cloth face coverings, and other safety protocols be observed:
- Retail, including all indoor and outdoor retail shopping centers, may open for business at 50% capacity.
- All flea markets, swap meets and drive-in movie theaters may also resume operations.
- Faith-based organizations may resume services, with the number of congregants limited to less than 25% of the building's capacity, or a maximum of 100 people, whichever is lower.
Residents may take part in all permitted activities while continuing to practice physical distancing and wearing a cloth face covering when in contact with others. You are still encouraged to remain in your residences as much as practical and limit close contact with others outside your household (both indoor and outdoor).
While this is an exciting step on our road to recovery, it is important to note the following:
- Retail businesses and faith-based organizations will only be able to reopen once they have met the protocols provided by the County.
- Gatherings of people not from the same household are still prohibited, except for faith-based services and in-person protests.
- Higher-risk businesses like hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, and gyms and fitness centers remain closed.
- Restaurants in LA County are not yet reopening for dine-in services.
- Those over the age of 65 or with preexisting health conditions are still encouraged to remain in their residence as much as possible.
You can ready the full Health Officer Order here. For a list of protocols referenced in the Order that businesses and other organizations must follow, please go to the Department of Public Health’s dedicated website at http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/.
If you have any questions about City services or what any of these changes mean to you, please check our website at www.cityofsanmarino.org/coronavirus, or call our Resident Support Hotline at (626) 300 – 0731. The City will also be following up with all local businesses to ensure they have the support they need to reopen safely and while following proper guidelines.As more information about this revised order and continued modifications are announced, we will be sure to let you know. We look forward to this next phase of our recovery process, and thank you in advance for your continued efforts to keep yourselves and our community safe.
May 22, 2020 Update
With graduation season upon us, we know our community has been thinking of alternative ways to celebrate the achievements of our students. Both San Marino Police Chief John Incontro and SMUSD Superintendent Dr. Jeff Wilson have been actively monitoring the situation and advocating for our students and community. Today, the County put out guidelines to explicitly allow car parades that meet specific safety protocols. Please see below for a video update from Chief Incontro and Dr. Wilson that explains what this means for our San Marino community.
May 21, 2020 Update
A Video Message from Mayor Shepherd Romey
Please see below for this week’s video message from Mayor Shepherd Romey. Council Member Huang has provided a translated version.
Planning & Building Department – Temporary Full Closure
On May 19, 2020 the City was informed that a contract employee for the Planning & Building Department recently tested positive for COVID-19. In the week prior to receiving the test results, the individual made two visits to the lobby area and front counter of City Hall. Out of an abundance of caution, Planning & Building staff have since undergone testing, and the Planning & Building Department is temporarily closed for all services so staff can quarantine until they receive test results. Once test results are received, we will provide further information on the Department’s reopening. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
An Update on City Services and In-Person Meetings/Events
Previously, in line with state and County orders and guidance, the City of San Marino announced a policy of limited public access at City facilities and the cancellation of all non-essential events and meetings through May 31, 2020.
Based on current circumstances and the County’s continued guidance on modified services and restricting public gatherings, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to extend our event cancellations and restrictions on public access through June 30, 2020.
However, we are excited to announce that all board and commission meetings will now resume virtually. All agendas for these meetings will be posted on the agenda page of the City website and they will include specific information on how you can join and participate virtually.
We thank all of our dedicated board members and commissioners for their patience and flexibility during this time, and we are excited to take this small step towards getting back to business as usual.
You can visit our COVID-19 resources page at www.cityofsanmarino.org/coronavirus for full updated information on City of San Marino services, and how you can still get in touch with City staff during this period of limited public access
County Task Force Announces Goal of July 4th Reopening
This week, we heard some good news about the County’s efforts to reopen LA County and get people back to work. LA County's Economic Resiliency Task Force, which was created last month to help the County recover, announced that they are working with key sectors to develop safe and modified reopening plans that are sector-specific and take into account the current reality of COVID-19 and the recommendations of health officials.
It is important to remember that the County will only be able to implement this July 4th goal if health officials feel we are ready, and if the State relaxes their Stay at Home Order to allow LA County to move further into reopening, but we are excited to see progress. We will be sure to keep our residents and business owners informed of any upcoming changes to current restrictions.
Join Us for a Virtual Memorial Day Service
While we cannot gather in person for our traditional Memorial Day Service this Monday, May 25th, the City of San Marino has created a virtual ceremony that will be available for viewing on Monday morning at 9:00am. The service will include many special video appearances, including our very own Mayor Shepherd Romey, County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, State Senator Anthony Portantino, Congresswoman Judy Chu, and Assemblymember Ed Chau. The event will be emceed by Mitch Lehman.
To watch the service, you can go to the City’s website, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube starting at 9:00am on Monday morning. We encourage you to watch it together then, but it will remain available for viewing at any point.
May 20, 2020 Update
A Message from Fire Chief Rueda on the Temporary Closure of the Planning & Building Department
On May 19, 2020 the City was informed that a contract employee for the Planning & Building Department recently tested positive for COVID-19. In the week prior to receiving the test results, the individual made two visits to the lobby area and front counter of City Hall. Out of an abundance of caution, Planning & Building staff have since undergone testing, and the Planning & Building Department will be closed for all services starting tomorrow, Thursday, May 21st, so staff can quarantine until they receive test results. Once test results are received, we will provide further information on the Department’s reopening. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
May 15, 2020 Update
Video Update on Revised “Safer at Home” County Order
Yesterday, we provided some details on the revised Safer at Home County order. Before we go into the weekend, San Marino Police Chief John Incontro wanted to take a few minutes to personally provide further details and clarity to San Marino residents, including new expectations on face coverings when you are outside of your home. Police Detective Vanessa Golden has provided a translated version of this message in Chinese.
May 14, 2020 Update
May 7, 2020 Update
Video Update from Council Member Huang
With quite a bit of information coming out this week about updates to the Safer at Home order, testing access, and the status of Lacy Park for Mother’s Day, Council Member Huang wanted to take a moment to speak to you all about these issues directly. City Treasurer Annie Han has provided a translated version of this message in Chinese.
An Update on Safer at Home Modifications and LA County’s Roadmap to Recovery
Yesterday, Los Angeles County, in alignment with the State’s guidelines for a phased reopening, announced the first round of small but positive modifications to the Safer at Home order. Starting tomorrow – Friday, May 8th – certain non-essential businesses will be allowed to reopen for curbside pickup only, with continued adherence to physical distancing and infection control protocols. These businesses include: bookstores, clothing stores, florists, music stores, sporting good stores, toy stores, and car dealership showrooms.
Additionally, golf courses and County trails will open, but while still requiring physical distancing and infection control protocols.
You can read more information about the County of Los Angeles’ “Roadmap to Recovery” here: https://covid19.lacounty.gov/recovery/.
Please note that even with these modifications, all other aspects of the Safer at Home order remain in effect, including the restriction on gatherings with people outside of your immediate household and the requirement to maintain physical distancing and wear face coverings when out in public.
A Note on Future Safer at Home Modifications and State vs. County Authority
As future modifications are announced by the County, we will keep you informed, but please keep in mind two important things:
- Any reopenings and relaxing of the Safer at Home order will still involve many modifications to our normal routines, including maintaining physical distancing and wearing face coverings. We will not see a return to our old “normal” for many months to come
- The City of San Marino is in the jurisdiction of both the State of California and the County of Los Angeles, and we must adhere to orders from both. However, the County of Los Angeles is able to enforce orders more strict than the permissions put out by the State of California, and it is likely to do so in some situations due to the unique characteristics of our County, and the large number of cases we have had compared to other areas of the state. Because of this, we encourage you pay closer attention to information coming from the County of Los Angeles (and of course the City of San Marino) when trying to learn more about what the future will look like.
Update: Lacy Park OPEN this Sunday, May 10th for Mother’s Day
As you know, we continue to prioritize keeping Lacy Park open as a safe and healthy respite for our community. Following the County’s decision to close their parks on Mother’s Day, we made the difficult decision to temporarily close Lacy Park as well. However, the County has since decided to rescind this closure and keep their parks open, and we therefore feel comfortable doing the same. Lacy Park will now remain open on Mother’s Day. Please remember that you still must maintain proper physical distancing from anyone not in your immediate household. Thank you for your understanding and support, and we hope you all have a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend.
May 4, 2020 Update
A Note on County and State Reopening Plans
We know you may be hearing quite a bit of information about plans to relax the County and State orders, including the Governor’s announcement today that the State will be allowing for the relaxing of some retail business restrictions later this week and will be beginning to enter into “phase 2” of their reopening plan. You can read more information about the State’s four-staged reopening plan at https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Update-on-California-Pandemic-Roadmap.pdf and can find the most updated press releases at https://covid19.ca.gov/.
It is very important to understand that the City of San Marino is controlled by both State of California and Los Angeles County orders. The State orders apply to every jurisdiction; however, the County is able to impose orders stricter than the State. In fact, the Governor acknowledged that part of his plan is to allow for regional adaptation and modification depending on specific needs.
Therefore, the City of San Marino will look to the County of Los Angeles Public Health Department to determine when our City can start modifying the Safer at Home order. Currently, the County’s Safer at Home Order is in effect through May 15, and no changes have been announced to alter it sooner than that date, regardless of what the State does.
This does not mean that the County will not be making slow modifications to the Safer at Home Order – they have announced that they are also working to develop a regional reopening plan, and we do expect an initial announcement of what that will mean for San Marino in the upcoming week.
What we do know from communications from both the State and the County is that even as we begin to modify orders and slowly reopen, we need to be prepared to continue observing physical distancing and wearing face coverings for months to come, and we will not see the full opening of all businesses, sporting events, and large gatherings for quite some time.
We understand this is confusing, especially considering the multiple levels of government, but we will make every effort to keep you informed on how changes to State and County orders impact our residents and our businesses.
Expanded COVID-19 Testing Availability
We are pleased to announce that Los Angeles County has greatly expanded their COVID-19 testing capabilities, and the following groups of people are now eligible for free testing, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms:
- All essential workers
- Individuals who are over 65
- Individuals with chronic underlying health conditions
- Individuals in institutional congregate living settings
Additionally, the City of Los Angeles announced that they are offering free testing to any asymptomatic individuals in Los Angeles County, as long as you go to a testing site in the City of Los Angeles. You can learn more and sign up for a test either in the City of Los Angeles or anywhere in the County at https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/. When you enter your information and specific situation, the system will refer you to the proper testing location.
Priority for the same or next day testing is still given to people with symptoms, and please note that the CDC recently updated the list of symptoms associated with COVID-19 to include the following: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and/or new loss of sense of smell.
Lacy Park Temporary Closure on Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 10th
As you know, we continue to prioritize keeping Lacy Park open as a safe and healthy respite for our community. We have made necessary modifications, including regular deep cleaning, the closure of the non-portable restrooms, and turning each loop into a one-way path. As the weather gets nicer, however, we are seeing larger crowds on the weekends, and need to ensure everyone is maintaining the necessary physical distancing for safety. Because of this, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close Lacy Park this Sunday in anticipation of the large crowds due to Mother’s Day. Lacy Park will remain open on Saturday and will reopen on Monday. Thank you for your understanding and support as we work to keep Lacy Park open and safe for the long term.
County of Los Angeles COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard
The County of Los Angeles recently released an interactive dashboard that provides an overview on COVID-19 testing, cases, and death data by community, age, sex, and other variables. To view the Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard, you can visit http://dashboard.publichealth.lacounty.gov/covid19_surveillance_dashboard.
Please note that the County of Los Angeles does not communicate any information being reported on this dashboard to the City of San Marino directly, nor do we have further information on San Marino cases that is not being reported publicly.