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Former Mayor Calls for State of Emergency in Pasadena Regarding Coronavirus

Cities around the nation gearing up for outbreak

Published on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 | 11:23 am

In an email sent to City Manager Steve Mermell and Mayor Terry Tornek, former Mayor Bill Paparian called on city officials to declare a state of emergency regarding the coronavirus on Wednesday.

“Let’s not wait for the first coronavirus virus case to be reported in Pasadena,” Paparian said.

Yesterday a CDC official said the virus would reach crisis level in the United States and said it could lead to school and business closures and the cancellation of large meetings.

President Donald Trump was scheduled to address the nation regarding the nation on Wednesday night.

President Trump has submitted a $2.25 billion dollar funding request. The Democratic leadership is requesting $8.5 billion dollars in funding.

As of Tuesday, 2,764 people have died and 80,997 are suffering from the disease which originated in China. In January Chinese officials quarantined an entire city-Wuhan. During the quarantine, trains and public transit came to a halt, and air travel was canceled. Residents were urged to stay at home, and to wear masks if they must go out.

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The quarantine area expanded to include a space of about 35 million people. The virus has spread to South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran.

Locally all patients at Huntington Hospital are being tested for the virus.

“Our Health Department is in constant communications with PUSD and other private institutions emphasizing the importance of personal hygiene, the latest Coronavirus statistics and suggested outreach to parents and guardians,” said Pasadena Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian.

In Northern California, San Francisco Tuesday declared a “state of emergency” over the coronavirus. Mayor London Breed said the declaration would help the city speed up emergency planning.

“The global picture is changing rapidly, and we need to step-up preparedness,” Breed said in a statement.

In his letter today, Paparian said:

“I propose that the following preventive measures be taken immediately:

Declare a State of Emergency; Submit a request for funding to the federal government for Pasadena’s response to the crisis in the amount of $1 million dollars; Train our paramedics in how to test for the coronavirus virus; Set up Pasadena Health Department Coronavirus Testing Centers in all public and private schools, fire stations, the Health Department, the Senior Center, the Pasadena Police Jail, and all public parks that are suitable; Issue a request to the Pasadena medical community for doctors and nurses, and even those who are retired, to volunteer to help staff the Pasadena Health Department’s Coronavirus Virus Testing Centers; Make coronavirus testing available to all students in public and private schools, all residents of Pasadena

and the homeless residing in our city; Launch a citywide education campaign on the coronavirus crisis; Make face masks immediately available through the Pasadena Health Department.

Appoint a Citizens Coronavirus Task Force.

Yes, I know that this is an ambitious plan, but it must be implemented immediately.

The time to take action is now!



William Paparian

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