Friday, March 20. Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, the public health department, and the L.A. County fair Association shared new information regarding the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The press conference was held at the Pomona Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center; the Pomona Sheraton Hotel will be a housing facility for people experiencing symptoms of the corona virus, in addition to people who need to self-Isolate. Director of Public Health, Barbara Ferrer, shared an updated count of the Corona Virus cases in Los Angeles. There was an overwhelming positive response from Angelenos in light of the Safer at home, Stay at home public order.
Supervisor of the 1st district, Hilda Solis, announced that there is a new quarantine facility in the San Gabriel Valley. In collaboration with the County Office of Emergency Management, The Pomona Sheraton Fairplex Hotel will be a housing facility for those who tested positive for COVID-19. There will be housing available for individuals that need to self-isolate in close proximity to their home. The lease term is from March 23 – March 31. The Hotel is located on 601 W McKinley Ave, Pomona, CA. With 244 rooms available, it is on a “first come, first serve basis.” Only one person can be admitted per room. There will be full-service treatment, which includes food, medical care and supplies, with laundry services. The hotel will have security surveilling the building to ensure the safety of the temporary residency including the hotel employees. Solis wanted to bring focus to this contribution from the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel, this act of generosity will benefit the staff of the hotel as well, by keeping them employed during a time where the travel, tourism, and hospitality sanctions are struggling the most.
The Fairplex child development center will also be open to working parents with emergency and first response occupations, including law enforcement and hospital employees in the neighboring areas. In addition to that, the Pomona Sheraton campus will turn into a drive through food bank in participation with the non-profit in Lavern, Sewing Seeds for Life. Those in need of food supply can drive up and pop their trunks, volunteers will load their car with necessary provisions. Hilda Solis stated, “At this moment, our communities are reeling from impacts from this crisis, from health impacts to businesses threatening closure, this is a time for compassion.” She urged other communities to provide innovative ways to supply housing during the nationwide pandemic. The Sheraton in its entirety will be closed from any other public use. Hilda mentioned that the county is working relentlessly to find similar housing solutions across the L.A. region. Solis closed thanking Miguel Santana, President/CEO of Los Angeles County Fair Association and his board members for their support and partnership. She showed much gratitude for all public officials and communities working on solutions to flatten the Corona Virus curve.
Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health, revealed the latest data in Corona Virus cases. Identified in the county of Los Angeles, there has been 61 new cases that have been reported. That brings in a total of 101 cases identified in the last 48 hours. In summary, there are 292 reported cases in Los Angeles that continues to grow. 12 cases were reported in Long beach and 2 cases in Pasadena. The median age for patients that tested positive for SARS- CoV-2 were 47 years old. There are 138 people between the ages of 18-65 that tested positive for COVID-19. Ferrer shared that younger people “may have a better outcome.” but are one of the largest groups of people that have been tested and are diagnosed with Corona Virus. As of March 18, 2,400 people tested for COVID-19, 10% were positive for carrying the virus. 48 people have been hospitalized at some point, and 3 new cases are currently checked into a hospital. The Public Health department are looking to provide more information around the outcome of the testing and diagnosis. Based on the international observation of the virus, the Public Health department is preparing for an increase in cases.
Chairwoman, Kathryn Barger acknowledged the positive feedback she has been receiving from the community, regarding “the regional efforts to protect public health and slow the spread of the virus.” Barger referenced the public order that was announced on March 19, Kathryn stated that the Safer at Home order reflects, “true collaboration.” Chairwoman Barger discussed how this will be enforced, she stated, “…Think about what this will mean if we all together abide by the request to stay safe, at home.” She continued, “There will be no law enforcement going out, it’s about truly working together to ensure of the spread of the Corona Virus is slowed down.” Kathryn expressed that she received an outpour of support throughout the county. Nonprofits, local services, and faith-based organizations reached out, looking for ways that they can assist those who are struggling. She referenced the new Quarantine of San Gabriel Valley as a “Good example of working together to keep our local communities safe and healthy.” To find more information or latest L.A. County updates, check the following websites: http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/ and https://corona-virus.la/