HomeCity NewsSan Marino’s COVID-19 Caseload Increases to Five

San Marino’s COVID-19 Caseload Increases to Five

San Marino now has five residents who have confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, four more than one week ago.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in strict guidelines against public or private congregation, known as “Safer at Home,” and has shut down all schools and businesses except those considered “essential” in order to contain its spread. The disease, which is caused by a novel coronavirus that emerged in November, currently has no cure or vaccine and is responsible for 198 deaths in Los Angeles County, according to data released on Wednesday. The report also stated that there are 7,530 verified cases in the county.
Locally, City Manager Marcella Marlowe said she was “very proud” of her staff’s response to the pandemic.
“Our police officers and firefighters are at the forefront, and everybody knows that this is why we got into public service, to make things better for the community” said Marlowe. “We have some incredibly dedicated employees, all of whom have commented that they want to show up and make things better for the community. I am honored to serve with them.”
Marlowe praised her staff for creating innovative methods to interact with the community and acknowledged Planning and Building Director Aldo Cervantes for his outreach to local restaurants and businesses.
“Aldo has been in touch with them on a regular basis,” said Marlowe, “and we have been promoting them on our website and social media.”
Marlowe reported that she has been in favor of keeping Lacy Park open to the public while other public spaces have been closed, but was in on a recent decision to close the park on Easter Sunday.
“Los Angeles County has closed its parks and we fear a spillover,” said Marlowe. “We will close Lacy Park for Easter Sunday only and then re-open on Monday morning. We are giving up this one day in interest of the long haul. Lacy Park is a beautiful sanctuary for our community.”
Fire Chief Mario Rueda reported that his department is “doing well, running the Emergency Operations Center and responding to emergencies.”
“One of the most important messages I can relay to the public is to stay vigilant,” said Rueda, who is in regular contact with the county’s first responders and emergency management personnel. “This is not over. In fact, many feel that we are heading into the most important part of the battle against this virus. While I appreciate a positive outlook, sometimes human nature is to call it ‘good’ and move forward. A good positive attitude does not mean we are through this. Stay well-informed and take care of your physical and mental well-being.”
Rueda said morale at the San Marino Fire Department is “good” and that the station is cleaned and sanitized frequently.
“Our staff has a sense of duty to the community and to our fellow firefighters,” Rueda said. “I am very pleased with our professionalism and I also am aware of what they are experiencing. These days, going into a burning building is probably less stressful than going on a medical call. It can be unsettling, but that’s the job. We will all get through this together.”
Rueda remains supportive of keeping Lacy Park open, but agrees with the one-day closure for Easter Sunday. Rueda personally visits the park every day, including weekends, but feels the “increased pressure” that might be applied this Sunday should be avoided.
Police Chief John Incontro reported that his officers will now wear masks whenever they are in the field.
“Police officers come upon situations in a matter of seconds and it is important that they already be wearing personal protective equipment,” said Incontro. “I don’t want to put our officers in a position where their health could be compromised.”
Incontro said the officers are now wearing new wash-and-wear uniforms, which is quickly becoming an industry standard during COVID-19 as hospital-grade masks are being prioritized for medical workers.
Incontro also reported solid morale, and said the San Marino Police Department will be increasing the monitoring of changing traffic patterns caused by the closure of businesses and schools.
“We have seen a rather large increase in speeding,” Incontro said. “We will enforce against egregious or unsafe speeding.”
The chief also reported that several surrounding police departments have officers who have either contracted the virus or are currently quarantined.
“Losing one of our teams in this little department for any period of time would be devastating,” Incontro said. “Right now, it is even more important for us to stay safe.”
He also thanked the community for its support, for maintaining social distancing and for “doing what’s right.”
“Please do all you can to keep our number of cases very low,” said Incontro.
Incontro also monitors Lacy Park and was included in the decision to close it on Easter Sunday.
Additionally, on April 1, the San Marino Unified School District announced that its campuses will remain physically closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, which was scheduled to end on Friday, May 29.
Rueda encouraged community members to use the city’s resident support hotline, which can be accessed by calling (626) 300-0731. The phone will be answered from during the normal business hours 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Thursdays and 7-11 a.m. on Fridays. After business hours, residents may leave messages, which will be returned by a staff member. The service is being run through the city’s Emergency Operations Center.
Incontro advised the public to be aware of a possible increase in cases of spousal and child abuse, which are often elevated during times of added stress and a void in recreation outlets. He encouraged concerned residents to phone the SMPD at (626) 300-0720 for confidential service.


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