Mayor Terry Tornek told Pasadena Now that the current uptick in local Coronavirus cases has left him feeling like the city is “skating on thin ice.”
“I think we’re all holding our breath,” Tornek said. “The public demanded that we reopen things. Now we’re reopening things and the cases are going to go up and the deaths are going to go up and the hospitalizations are going to go up. The real question is, how much will they go up? And how fast will they go up?”
On Sunday, local health officials reported an additional 24 cases bringing the city’s total case count to 1,276. So far, there have been 89 fatalities.
The numbers were reported hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a new order closing bars in several counties, including Los Angeles County.
Pasadena Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian said “the increase in numbers is a major concern, especially as we lead up to a holiday weekend when people tend to congregate against the advice of health directives. There are many things we take into consideration when evaluating phases or reopening but health is definitely the number one priority”
Pasadena complied with the state and ordered local bars to shutter until further notice.
“Bars are to close and remain closed until allowed by the City Health Officer to resume modified or full operation,” Derderian said.
Under the order restaurants that possess a public health permit may continue to offer sit-down, dine-in meals prepared on site as allowed by the Health Officer Order, and in compliance with the revised restaurant protocol
Bars are prohibited from contracting with a food vendor to operate.
Bar counters/bartops in restaurants are required to close.
Restaurant and other food facilities should continue to offer and encourage takeout and delivery service to the extent possible.
Los Angeles County now has more cases than any other county in the nation.
The city began opening businesses last month working through the Economic Development and Technology Committee but has seen a rise in local COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks.
“I am reviewing the data and monitoring the situation every day,” said councilmember Victor Gordo. “I hope all will take extra precautions to avoid infection and closures.”
Currently, there are 53 people hospitalized at Huntington Hospital battling the virus, up from 27 patients on May 28 when the number of Coronavirus patients at the hospital seemed to be declining.
Despite the increase in cases locally and across the state, city officials are scheduled to close an emergency facility at the Convention Center where 250 beds were placed in case of Huntington Hospital reaches capacity.
“I think people don’t have unlimited patience or unlimited resources,” Tornek said. “I think it really is very difficult to close things again. I just don’t want to speculate about what future actions may be required.”
Tornek said he is hopeful as hospitals are better prepared, and there is more personal protective equipment.
“The medical personnel have learned something about what the most effective treatments are,” Tornek said. “And there are some drugs that at least have some therapeutic value, and I’m hoping all those things along with the general behavior that the population has learned will not put us really in deep trouble.”