Dear readers, we know you can’t help but panic. You can panic, you won’t stop panicking if someone tells you not to panic. But please don’t steal toilet paper from a grandma. Most importantly, do not fight the grandma. Stop for a moment. Listen to the experts and do not cause extra, unfounded panic. If you run out of toilet paper, there are other options 😉. Let’s just try to be courteous.
According to several sources, the immediate health risks of COVID-19 to the general public in Los Angeles is still considered low. And in the City of Glendale, there is no current cases of COVID-19.
So what is the coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing respiratory illness in people and others that circulate mostly among animals. Common symptoms in an infected person include fever, cough and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Since its discovery in 2019, mainland Chinese authorities have identified thousands of human infections, resulting in thousands of deaths associated with this novel (new) coronavirus, which began in Wuhan City, Hubei Province. Since then, infections have been confirmed in several travelers in the United States and a growing list of countries internationally. Note that COVID-19 is thought to generally spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to suggest or support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. But note that it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
As of today (March 13th, 2020), the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 40 total cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County and one death. The individual, a non-resident visiting friends, was an older adult who traveled extensively over the past month, including a long layover in South Korea.
The City of Glendale website indicates that the City has not been notified by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health of any public exposure risk, the need to close facilities or cancel events. However, out of an abundance of caution, the City is taking its own measures by closing facilities and cancelling events to protect the health and safety of the public and to prevent spread of COVID-19. Not to worry, these measures will not impact critical services such as water, power, police, fire, emergency operations, waste and recycling collection; however, some city functions may be modified.
The following modifications are taken directly from the City of Glendale Website. Beginning Saturday, March 14th, at least through the end of March, please be advised of the following:
- All permitted events expecting 50 or more participants will be cancelled;
- All City-sponsored events regardless of size will be cancelled;
- City Hall, Municipal Services Building, and Perkins (GWP) services in those buildings will be provided by appointment only (schedule here). The Verdugo Jobs center will provide services by appointment only which can be made by calling 818.409-0476. To pay utility bills, residents and businesses are encouraged to take advantage of the City’s various payment methods:
- Online at glendalewaterandpower.com
- GWP Mobile My Connect App—Customers must download the phone app from the app store.
- Pay Near Me at 7-Eleven
- Direct Payment Option—Automatic payment withdrawal form customer checking account.
- Pay by Phone—Through our automated system at (855) 550-4497
- Pay by Mail—Mail in payments to City of Glendale, PO Box 29099, Glendale, CA 91209
- 2 Drop Boxes—Payments may be dropped off at the main entrance at 141 N. Glendale Ave, and the end of the driveway from Wilson
- All parks facilities will be closed and facility recreation events will be cancelled. Parks will remain open for general use. Closed facilities include Pacific Park Community Center and Pool, Maple Park Community Center, Adult Recreation Center, Sparr Heights Community Center, Civic Auditorium, and Glendale Sports Complex. The meal distribution plan for the congregate meals program will not be affected.
- All City library facilities will be closed. The City encourages residents to take advantage of online resources.
- Some Board Commission meetings will be cancelled, so please check the city’s meeting agendas page for the most up-to-date information.
- City Council meetings will take place as scheduled; however, the City encourages the public to take advantage of watching the live streamed meetings. According to the City, these meetings may also be cancelled or modified should the need arise.
To learn more about COVID-19 and get updates in Glendale, you can also visit: www.Glendaleca.gov/coronavirus.
What can you do to help tame this situation?
The experts continue to recommend that you do the following to protect yourself and others:
- Avoid non-essential travel, public gatherings, or places where large groups of people come together, such as ticketed events (theaters, concert halls, and sporting events) if you are at higher risk of getting very sick from infection, such as the elderly (65), people with underlying health conditions, and pregnant women;
- If you are an event organizer, consider postponing or cancelling non-essential community events;
- Those with high risk factors and who have fever or new or worsening cough, should consider contacting their providers earlier when they are sick;
- If you are mildly sick with a fever, stay home until you have been fever-free for 72 hours, except to get medical care;
- Avoid travels to all areas where there are outbreaks of COVID-19;
- Abstain from all cruise ship travels, as suggested by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
- Get your flu vaccination—it’s not too late!
- Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
- Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Contact your primary care physician if symptoms develop;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
- Limit close contact with people who are sick;
- Clean surfaces that are touched often; and
- Practice simple social distancing strategies that limit your exposure to others who may be ill (verbal salutations in place of handshakes and hugs, not sharing utensils, cups and linens, staying six feet apart from others at public events.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The Public Health indicates that reported illnesses have ranged from people with mild symptoms to people becoming severely ill, requiring admission to the hospital, and dying. Symptoms include: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, and severe illness.
What to do if you have the symptoms? Evidence from other countries suggest that like the flu, most people have mild symptoms and should stay home until 72 hours after fever. Certain individuals should call their doctor early—including the elderly, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems of underlying medical conditions. If you are having difficulty breathing or keeping fluids down, go to an emergency room near you or call 911, otherwise it is best to call your doctor before going in to seek care. Remember, you can get tested for COVID-19, but according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, testing is not helpful if you do not have symptoms. Should you need immediate medical care, some hospitals in Glendale include, Dignity Health –Glendale Memorial Hospital, Adventist Health Glendale and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital.
For more information, reliable sources about the COVID-19 are:
- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
- California Department of Public Health (CDPH, State)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, National)
- World Health Organization (WHO, International)
- LA County residents can also call 2-1-1
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health also has Frequently Asked Questions translated in different languages—Spanish, Armenian, Arabic, “Traditional Spanish,” “Simplified Chinese,” Korean, Russian, Tagalog, Farsi, Cambodian, Japanese and Vietnamese. http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/
Folks, stay human. We are all in this together, and we will all get through this together. Speedy recovery to those affected by COVID-19.