SPFD Fire Chief Update | Small Increase in COVID Cases

During a special City Council meeting Wednesday night, South Pasadena Fire Chief Paul Riddle said 122 people in the city have tested positive to COVID-19, with 18 deaths – all at same skilled nursing facility in town

FILE PHOTO: SouthPasadenan.com News | SPFD Fire Chief Paul Riddle

South Pasadena saw a slight increase in coronavirus cases, explained Paul Riddle, the city’s fire chief, saying during Wednesday’s weekly update to the City Council there were five new people testing positive, bringing the total in town to 122.

The death rate did not change from the prior week, Riddle reporting that it currently stands at 18 deaths – all associated with the South Pasadena Care Center in the 900 block of Mission Street. Riddle said 108 people at the skilled nursing facility have tested positive, including 29 staff members and 79 residents.

He said the health and well-being of the South Pasadena Care Center “stands a high priority with us,” noting that the facility’s staff rate continues to increase as workers return to the job.

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Outside the care center, Riddle said 43 South Pasadena citizens have tested positive to the virus.

The fire chief said 53 percent of deaths in LA County are at institutional settings.

As of Wednesday, pointed out Riddle, there are 48,700 COVID-19 cases in LA County and 2,195 deaths.

Hospitalization rates reported by LA County dropped slightly from last week, said Riddle. Total cases requiring hospitalization in the county is 6,283 with 1,477 currently hospitalized, he said.

There have been no changes at the local fire department or staffing, noted Riddle, since the outbreak began approximately 10 weeks ago. He said his firefighters have ample personal protective equipment (PPE) and there are plenty of supplies to support all city departments.

“Calls for service remain at normal levels,” he said, adding “10 percent to 15 percent of EMS calls are suspected COVID-19.”