Health and safety of the community is the top priority of the City of South Pasadena as the coronavirus continues to evolve.
That’s the message coming out of City Hall Monday in face of the pandemic as residents take steps to slow the spread of the disease.
“Our City teams are regularly engaged with public health officials, partnering jurisdictions as well as state and federal agencies and taking proactive steps to ensure the City is prepared and ready to implement recommend prevention strategies to effectively protect the public,” reads a message on the website.
Currently there are no known cases of COVID-19 in South Pasadena, according to city officials.
Effective Monday, March 16, according to the city website, all city facilities will be temporarily closed to members of the public except for public meetings of the City Council, the Cultural Heritage Commission, and Design Review Board, which will continue to meet to ensure the approval of projects move forward as required by law.
Preliminary measures will go into effect following recent state and county guidelines to, as provided by the city, to:
• Cancel non-essential gatherings of more than 250 people.
• Limit gatherings of high-risk populations (such as seniors) to no more than 10 people.
• Practice social distancing.
• Public safety and public works emergency response will continue.
• The city will continue to assess the situation and may make additional changes as needed.
As of Monday, March 16, at noon, the city had not yet taken some of the measures to confront the virus as Los Angeles, but Mayor Robert Joe said discussions were taking place on what the next steps are for the City of South Pasadena. In addition the City of South Pasadena’s Public Information Officer Rachel McGuire said any updates and changes would be “immediately communicated” to the community.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered LA’s gyms, bars and movie theaters to close as of midnight on Sunday. Restaurants stopped serving to those wanting to eat inside to help contain the spread of coronavirus. The restrictions will be in place until at least March 31.
“These are the emergency steps we are taking to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 & protect people across LA, effective at midnight tonight,” said Garcetti on Twitter. “This isn’t easy & I don’t make this decision lightly. We will do everything we can to help businesses & workers impacted during this time.”
While restaurants may no longer serve food in-person in the dining area they will continue serving food by delivery, takeout and drive-thru.
Garcetti cannot legally order churches and other religious institutions to close, but the Los Angeles mayor encouraged them to do so voluntarily.
He insisted the coronavirus was much like other crisis past challenges like wildfires, earthquakes, and riots and urged residents to take action.
“This isn’t just someone else’s responsibility, but it is the responsibility of each one of us,” said Garcetti. “Your actions matter and they can and will save lives.”
A moratorium on evictions for residential tenants has been put into place in Los Angeles during the crisis. The L.A. city attorney is examining whether the city can stop commercial evictions.
“This is an absolutely critical moment in our city’s history,” said Garcetti. “Our decisions will determine the fate of loved ones. Our decisions and actions will determine the length of this crisis, the damage done to our economy and ultimately how quickly we will get back up on our feet.”
The South Pasadena Unified School District has made the decision to close all schools from March 16 through April 3.
“This situation is rapidly changing,” said Yantz in an email message to SPUSD families. “Please stay healthy during this time away from school, and we hope to see you in a few weeks.”
In his correspondence, Yantz said SPUSD will provide guidance soon about supplementary resources, digital and non-digital, that can be used at home to review and reinforce knowledge and skills learned this school year.
“Students and families will not be required to use these resources during spring break but are welcome to do so,” he said.
Before schools closed last Friday, Yantz encouraged students to take books, supplies, and personal belongings home with them as campuses would not be open during the spring break recess.
All CIF athletic training and competitions will be suspended during the time South Pasadena High is closed.