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Alhambra Council Declares State of Emergency in Response to COVID-19

Photo by David Muñoz.

Location

Alhambra , CA

Alhambra’s City Council, meeting in special session, passed a resolution declaring a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19.

The Monday afternoon meeting came just hours after the L.A. County Department of Public Health provided a list of cases of the COVID-19 virus in communities with populations of over 25,000 in the County. Two of the newly announced cases are in the city of Alhambra. No further information on the cases was provided by the LACDPH.

Alhambra’s resolution was passed on a 4-0 vote and is effective immediately.

Mayor Ross J. Maza and Vice Mayor David Mejia attended the hurriedly called meeting in the Alhambra City Hall Conference Room with Councilmembers Adele Andrade-Stadler and Jeff Maloney joining by speaker phone. Councilmember Katherine Lee was unable to participate. 

City officials in attendance included City Manager Jessica Binnquist, City Attorney Joseph Montes, Police Chief Timothy Vu, Fire Chief Thomas Phelps and City Clerk Lauren Myles.

The goal of the proclamation is to allow the city to strengthen efforts to seek assistance from state and federal partners in Alhambra’s efforts to deal with the coronavirus threat and new restrictions in response to that threat.

On Monday, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the Department of Public Health issued an order closing bars, nightclubs, gym, fitness centers, movie theaters, among other establishments, and prohibiting restaurant dining. This order would apply to businesses in Alhambra.

Along with passing the resolution, Alhambra announced that City Hall will remain open but officials encouraged residents to conduct necessary business online or by telephone at 626-570-5007.  Public Safety operations will also remain open and available at 626-570-5151.

City parks and open areas will continue to remain open but pools and gymnasiums are closed. Park restrooms will be serviced and sanitized more frequently. 

The customer service center for utility payments will remain open. Water and trash service operations will continue but customers are again urged to use online payment systems when possible. There will be no water shut-offs for 60 days. 

Farmers Markets in Alhambra will remain open. Hand washing stations will be installed and vendors will be spaced farther apart to give shoppers  room for social distancing. The decision to keep the markets open was made, officials said, to keep the food supply open at a time when standard markets are facing long lines and shortages.

The city also announced a number of closures or cancellations:

— All non-essential meetings and City events, and non-City meetings and events in City facilities are cancelled until further notice.

— The regular City Council meeting on March 23, 2020 has been cancelled. The next council meeting is scheduled for April 13. All other board and commission meetings are cancelled until further notice.

— Alhambra Civic Center Library is closed until further notice. Patrons may contact the library by phone for assistance with e-resource materials and can access digital resources through its website.

— The Joslyn Senior Center will close until further notice. Arrangements are currently being developed to provide nutritional support for those who participate in such programs at the center.

— Senior Ride Programs will continue as normal to provide for essential trips including grocery shopping and medical appointments.

—Recreation and community services will be curtailed. Facility reservations, adult and youth programs and classes are cancelled immediately until further notice.

On Friday, Alhambra Unified School District officials announced that schools would be dismissed for a two week period that started on Monday. That would be followed by a week of spring break. During the spring break week, district officials would re-assess the closure  and determine whether to extend it or modify the order. The original plan for teachers and administrators to work from various campuses was modified Monday and they will now work from home. 

The district was trying to maintain its noontime food service on a grab and go basis. Here is the schedule for lunch service.

The L.A. County Office of Education announced over the weekend that all school districts in the county will be closed for various lengths of time. For more information see their list of districts here.

In  Monterey Park, City Hall was closed to the public beginning Monday.  Regular hours of operation will continue and phone and email communications with city staffers and departments would remain available during that time. Normal online services would also continue to operate.

In addition all regular public meetings in Monterey Park, including city council meetings, are cancelled. Residents are urged to monitor the city’s website for updates on special meetings that may be called. 

The city’s Bruggemeyer Library was ordered closed effective last Saturday and the facility reservation program, activity programs and classes are cancelled until further notice. More information may be obtained by calling 626-307-1388.

Special  Events in Monterey Park including the weekly Farmer’s Market on Thursdays at George Elder Park, East Day Festival, Eco-Summit and Bike Rides at Barnes Park on April 25, the Cherry Blossom Festival at Barnes Park on April 25-26 are also cancelled.

Census 101 Informational Session, at Bruggemeyer Library on Saturday, March 21 is also cancelled.

Officials in San Gabriel were still working on their response to the coronavirus on Monday after already cancelling all major city events for the foreseeable future. The City also decided to cancel events where large groups of senior citizens or other at risk populations would likely be gathering.

At the Mission Playhouse, performances of Newsies by Temple City Performing Arts were cancelled last weekend and Silent Sundays at the Mission Playhouse schedule for March 22 has been postponed until further notice. 

Senior lunch programs are being altered to give participants frozen meals that they can take home to prepare. This would replace the congregate meal system previously in place. 

In an email to Alhambra Source, Jonathan Fu, the city’s public information officer, said that essential city public safety services would remain in effect but that non-essential services may be modified in the next few days. More information on the changes would be conveyed in the next few days, Fu’s e-mail stated, and he urged interested parties to check the city’s web site for updates. 

 

Previous reporting from Alhambra Source:

Alhambra Has Two COVID-19 Cases, Health Department Says. L.A. County Is Ordered To Social Distance March 16, 2020

Coronavirus: “It’s not just about you.” March 12, 2020

AUSD Announces New Measures to Protect Students, Staff from COVID-19 March 11, 2020

AUSD Board Hears Details on Preparations for Coronavirus Response March 11, 2020

Six New Cases of Coronavirus Identified in L.A. County; All Are Linked to Travel March 4, 2020

For more information from the Alhambra Source, go to our Stay Healthy page.

Thank you for reading our story! Alhambra Source is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our newsroom reports fact-based quality journalism that educates, informs and engages our diverse communities - with no paywall. Support our mission and donate today!

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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