According to an email to District 5 constituents, Huntington Hospital is treating patients infected with the COVID-19 virus.
“This afternoon it was announced that Huntington Hospital is treating patients with COVID-19,” said Pasadena Councilman Victor Gordo in his newsletter. “Due to patient privacy laws there is no further information available. I want to make sure we’re doing everything possible to protect and accommodate our residents and neighbors during this extraordinary health threat.”
Huntington Hospital confirmed the hospital “is treating patients with COVID-19? when contacted by Pasadena Now.
According to Pasadena Public Health Director Ying Ying Goh, the city’s health department was not notified, which would be mandated by law if the patient was a Pasadena resident.
“Providers are required by law to report to the jurisdiction where the person lives,” said Goh. “This reporting process covers almost 100 communicable diseases now, including COVID-19. We only have one case in Pasadena and [we] were not notified of additional cases at HMH that reside in our jurisdiction.”
As of Sunday, 69 cases have been identified in Los Angeles County; of these, 10 cases are likely due to community transmission. Five of the cases confirmed today are hospitalized.
Huntington Hospital serves a wide area and receives patients from across the region daily. The hospital has canceled all elective surgeries and no visitors under 15 are being allowed.
To reiterate, there still is currently only one confirmed infection in Pasadena, according to the city’s health department.
“As expected, we are seeing increased community spread, and as more testing occurs we will continue to see significantly more cases,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County’s public health director.
“Our healthcare providers are prepared to see more cases, but we must all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in order to minimize strain on our healthcare system and other service providers. This means strictly adhering to social distancing requirements, practicing good hygiene such as frequent hand washing, and caring for the most vulnerable members of our community.”
Ferrer called on residents not to call 911 to request testing for COVID-19.
“Please do not go to our emergency rooms unless you are seriously ill and require emergency care,” she added. “If you have respiratory illness and want to know if you should be tested for COVID-19, it is best to call your health care provider or, if you don’t have a provider, call 211 for help finding a clinician near you.”
Pasadena Unified Superintendent Brian McDonald on Friday morning ordered the closing of all District schools for three weeks beginning Monday, March 16, followed by a full reopening on Monday, April 6.
“In an abundance of caution, I am authorizing the dismissal of students from attending school March 16, 2020,” McDonald said in an email to the School Board.
“Dismissal involves teachers, staff, and other personnel who will be expected to report to work as we plan for the continuity of instruction. As of March 17-April 5, schools will be closed, Schools will reopen on April 6, provided there are no further developments.”
The board voted to give McDonald emergency powers to act without calling meetings on Thursday.
The city has canceled all non-essential events.
Local residents are being asked to practice social distancing and take these simple precautions:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
Cough or sneeze only into a tissue or the crook of your elbow – not your hand.
Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose.
Frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces – cell phones, light switches, doorknobs, and toilet handles.
Avoid contact with people who are sick.