Story by Katie Hohman
Photo by Katelyn Hernandez
The South Pasadena City Council listened to a presentation from the L.A. County Supervisor for the 5th District, Kathryn Barger, on California’s efforts to tackle coronavirus, in its online meeting on Wednesday, July 15.
According to Barger, the rate of positive testing for L.A. County has been brought down to 9.6 percent, compared to 11 percent last week. In contrast, South Pasadena has had an additional 44 cases of coronavirus since the last report, bringing the city’s total number of cases to 192 and the total deaths to 23.
The recent increase in cases led Governor Gavin Newsom to reclose gyms, places of worship, bars and indoor dining, malls, and other businesses that pose a risk. Bars and restaurants are allowed to stay open with only takeout and outdoor dining being offered.
Barger also asserted that the next two weeks are going to be very telling of when L.A. County can fully reopen, and that Newsom is likely not going to change the restrictions he has put in place.
In response to the rapidly increasing number of cases, California has left certain decisions up to each individual school district and county. Although the South Pasadena Unified School District (SPUSD) has yet to announce their plans for learning in the fall, the School Board recommended that Superintendent Yantz begin the school year with 100 percent online learning.
California reached a one-day record for new coronavirus cases on Tuesday July 14, with over 11,000 new cases. Limited availability of test swabs and laboratory space has prompted L.A. County officials to encourage residents not showing symptoms to refrain from getting tested.
“This pandemic has forced us to adapt how we work internally at the county and externally as partners with our state’s cities,” Barger said. “We continue to work with the state and federal partners to address many challenges, including providing adequate testing, which seems to be on everyone’s mind right now.”
The council members urge citizens to wear their masks and isolate themselves, despite the warm weather. They also encourage residents to support small businesses that may be struggling and try to buy as much as possible from them.
“We all need to do our part to keep each other safe during this pandemic but let us also try to help our local businesses stay afloat by making an effort to buy whatever we need locally and use our local professional services, “ Mayor Robert Joe said.
The City Council will continue to meet and discuss the effects of coronavirus, as well as plan how South Pasadena can recover. The next City Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 5.