PASADENA, Calif.—At the request of the City Council, an outside consultant has provided a report with a high-level snapshot of the unfolding of key events surrounding the onset of COVID-19 infection in the city of Pasadena, and a chronology of the Pasadena Public Health Department's actions to prepare for, respond and mitigate the threat of COVID-19 in Pasadena’s long-term care facilities. Concurrently, the Office of the City Attorney has released a related memorandum entitled “Summary of the Health Officer’s Authority Relating to Skilled Nursing Facilities” to help clarify roles and authority.
Nationwide, as in Pasadena, COVID-19 has had tragic effects on the vulnerable populations of long-term care facilities. According to a New York Times database, at least 28,000 residents and workers have died from COVID-19 at nursing homes and other long-term facilities for older adults in the United States. So far, the virus has infected more than 153,000 at some 7,700 facilities. Pasadena is particularly hard hit among our elderly residents because of its numbers. There are 16 skilled nursing facilities in Pasadena, with 886 beds per 100,000 residents, as compared to 383 facilities in Los Angeles County with 382 beds per 100,000 residents. This means there are 2.3 times more beds per 100,000 residents in Pasadena than LA County.
“Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to those who have lost family members due to this tragic pandemic,” said Pasadena Public Health Director Dr. Ying-Ying Goh. “COVID-19 infection and death rates in these facilities is a national tragedy. Mitigating risks of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in these facilities will require a national strategy and investment in infectious disease infrastructure and personnel. There needs to be discussions at a national level on how these facilities are funded, staffed and regulated. This is not simply a Pasadena problem; it is a significant nationwide issue.”
“Dr. Goh and her team have been working day and night to take measures to protect lives in these facilities,” said City Manager Steve Mermell. “Despite major obstacles, the health department has and will continue to take the necessary actions to mitigate the spread of the virus, knowing this will be a sustained response. The City will continue to evaluate our progress and build upon lessons learned at a local level and from our county, state and federal partners.”
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