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City, County Issue New COVID-19 Measures

Order calls for more social distancing as agencies ramp up fight against deadly virus

Published on Thursday, March 19, 2020 | 6:22 pm
 
Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek at a press conference attended by LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer on Thursday.

[UPDATED AT 7:45 PM] In concert with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Pasadena Health Officer Dr. Ying-Ying Goh issued a new proclamation regarding the COVID-19 outbreak on Thursday.

“The health and safety of our community remains our top concern,” said City Manager Steve Mermell. “Given the rapid spread of COVID-19, having people stay at home and avoid non-essential activities is the most effective way to prevent more infections. This order is necessary if we’re going to save lives and keep hospitals from being overwhelmed with new cases.”

Under the order, shopping at essential businesses is allowed to continue — including grocery stores and restaurants — so long as all persons practice social distancing to the extent practicable.

The order went into effect at midnight and continues through April 19.

A short time later, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a state stay home order for all of California’s 40 million.

Violation of or failure to comply with the city’s order is a crime punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

The announcement was made late Thursday afternoon at a press conference in downtown Los Angeles attended by Mayor Terry Tornek and officials from around the region.

“If we don’t intervene it will run away from us,” Tornek said. “This is the way to slow it down.”

The county and Long Beach joined Pasadena in issuing the order. Each of the three cities has their own health departments.

The purpose of the order is to prohibit public and private events or gatherings of 10 or more people, and require the closure of malls, shopping centers, children’s playgrounds, and non-essential retail businesses in an effort to stem or slow the spread of COVID-19 within the Pasadena community.

For all gatherings that are not prohibited, the health officer orders those persons attending an event or gathering and the venues holding the event or gathering implement the following infection control precautions:

(1) Practice social distancing within the confined space by requiring attendees to be separated by six feet;
(2) Provide access to hand-washing facilities with soap and water or hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol;
(3) Post a sign in a conspicuous place at the public entry to the venue instructing members of the public to not attend if they are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, including fever or cough.
(4) Adhere to communicable disease control recommendations provided by the Pasadena Public Health Department.

As a point of clarity, this Order does not prohibit any individual or family from outdoor activities such as hiking, walking, and shopping at essential businesses—including grocery stores and restaurants—so long as all persons practice social distancing to the extent practicable.

“This order will increase social distancing while still enabling residents to shop for essential items at the market, pharmacy, and hardware store, and still be able to visit the bank or gas station,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger, chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Because of the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the need to protect everyone, including the most vulnerable members of our community, this Order prohibits all indoor public and private gatherings and all outdoor public and private events within a confined space, where at least 10 people are expected to be in attendance at the same time.

“The Pasadena Public Health Department will continue to monitor the rate of COVID-19 disease spread, state and CDC recommendations, and the impact of the required measures, and the health officer may revisit, extend, expand, or otherwise modify this Order as needed to protect the public’s health,” the order says.

Attached is a copy of actual the “Stay At Home” Order itself issued by the City of Los Angeles — Pasadena and Long Beach orders use the same language.

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