Throughout the pandemic, South Pasadena Fire Chief Paul Riddle and Police Chief Joe Ortiz continue to provide updates, including numbers and key data, as the coronavirus continues to take its toll locally, nationally and around the world.
The two frontline officials talked about the spread of COVID-19 during a briefing at the close of Wednesday’s virtual City Council meeting, focusing on LA County and close to home in South Pasadena.
Riddle reported there have been 138 cases of the virus in the city, including 16 additional ones since his last report on May 27. He said 21 individuals have died from the disease in town.
South Pasadena Care Center has shown a slight increase since the last report with an increase of seven, bringing the total to 115 cases, including 31 staff members and 84 residents. All 21 deaths from the virus in South Pasadena are attributed to the Care Center at 904 Mission Street, noted Riddle.
“So, if you look at the numbers, it means there are 54 cases outside of the Care Center,” said the fire chief.
To highlight a couple of statistics, the rate of infection in LA County, explained Riddle, does remain consistent at 8 percent – meaning that 8 percent of those being tested are testing positive for coronavirus.
The hospitalization, dropping slightly from Riddle’s last report, is now 10 percent from 13 percent, “meaning 10 percent of those testing positive are requiring hospitalization treatment,” he said.
On the police side, Ortiz noted that LA County continues to support Project Roomkey, a collaborative effort by the state and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to secure hotel and motel rooms for vulnerable people experiencing homelessness. According to its website, provides a way for people who don’t have a home to stay inside to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In other news, Ortiz said Metro continues to require all riders on buses and trains to wear face coverings until further notice.
Keeping officers and city staff safe during the pandemic continues to be a top priority. “We continue to procure PPE (personal protection equipment) from different resources,” he told the council, saying he expects the department to receive additional gowns and hand sanitizer in the coming days.
He added that reminding all employees of personal prevention actions continue to be a major concern.
“Stay at home if you’re sick, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, clean duty belts, launder uniform daily,” he said. “All staff are reminded to remain vigilant in wearing a mask and proper PPE when encountering the public and patients.”
Ortiz also said a SPPD lieutenant recently went through training on how Los Angeles County operates and maintains its Emergency Operations Center.
In a statement, as of June 18, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 36 new deaths and 1,051 new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Twenty-six people who died were over the age of 65 years old, seven people who died were between the ages of 41 and 65 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. Thirty-one people had underlying health conditions including 25 people over the age of 65 years old and six people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach and one death was reported by the City of Pasadena.
To date, in the same statement, Public Health has identified 78,227 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 3,027 deaths. Ninety-four percent of people who died had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 2,807 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 42% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 29% among White residents, 17% among Asian residents, 11% among African American residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races. Upon further investigation, 13 cases reported earlier were not LA County residents. There are 1,429 people who are currently hospitalized, 29% of these people are in the ICU and 22% are on ventilators.
Testing capacity continues to increase in LA County, with testing results available for nearly 868,000 individuals and 8% of people testing positive.