By Alex Cordero
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced provisional guidelines for COVID-19 prevention measures and recommended the public and communities to cancel and/or postpone public gatherings that consist of 50 people or more throughout the nation for the next 8 weeks.
Per the CDC, large gatherings can contribute to the spread of the Coronavirus by United States travelers who may attend the events and introduce the disease to new communities.
Prior to the recent announcement from the CDC, local organizations had been taking proactive measures for disease prevention and have been postponing or cancelling events.
Many public organizations, including local city governments, have responded to limiting public access based on the recommendation from the The Los Angeles Department of Public Health (DPH) which is similar to the guided recommendations set forth by the CDC.
DPH recommended limited gatherings of 10 people or less for individuals who are at higher risk of contracting the COVID-19, which includes people ages 65 and older, pregnant women and people with existing chronic illnesses.
As recommended precautions are immediately placed into action to keep the public safe and appear to be changing rapidly, it is important to stay informed.
The following locations and organizations in Pasadena have made formal announcements of event cancellations as of March 16:
- The City of Pasadena has cancelled all of its non-essential events and activities scheduled up until the end of April. The City of Roses has also announced it will be contacting event coordinators for all third-party city events and recommend they follow CDC guidelines for large gatherings. The Crown City has also postponed several City Commission meetings scheduled for March and April.
- The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) has closed all in-person classes at its schools and are expected to resume Monday, April 6 pending further developments. PUSD Superintendent Brian McDonald made an official announcement via YouTube. He communicated that the PUSD has set up a hot-line available for answers regarding ongoing updates at (626) 396-3680.
- Pasadena City College (PCC) has decided to limit college access for students until April 19.
“We are preparing for an extended period of online and remote operation. As such, if you haven’t already, we recommend signing up for a Zoom account and familiarizing yourself with its operation. Please be aware that due to incredibly high demand, some Zoom functions — including email verification — are experiencing delays, so it is better to register and sign up for this service sooner rather than later,” the college announced.
- The Huntington Library has cancelled all major events scheduled until May 31. All lectures, classes, school programs, tours and public and community programs are closed until further notice. The Botanical Gardens will be closed until April 14.
- Descanso Gardens will continue to operate but only for outdoor activities until further notice.
- USC Pacific Asia Museum doors are temporarily closed until April 15 or until further notice.
- Pasadena Museum of History public access is closed until mid-April and will keep the public readily informed of any changes.
- ArtCenter College of Design suspended all classes from March 12 through March 22. Per Jered Gold, vice president of marketing and communications for the ArtCenter shared the following, “Our intent is to use the coming week to prepare alternate models for remote teaching and distance learning, and extend the term/semester for one week to make up for the lost instruction time.”
- Pasadena Playhouse will remain closed until April 30.
- Pasadena Symphony and Pops have rescheduled the March 21 Mozart & McGegan concert to May 23. The orchestra’s April 18 Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.3 continues on schedule as planned until further notice as they too continue to adhere to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recommendations on limited public gatherings.
- Pasadena Senior Center has placed limitations on many activities as of March 12. Many classes offered at the center have been changed, postponed or cancelled. They are encouraging their members to follow the CDC’s recommendations to stay home and avoid large crowds.
- All Saints Church hosted their first virtual worship via YouTube on Sunday, March 15 and is something they plan to continue to explore as an alternative as they also follow interim public health regulations.
- The Rose Bowl has cancelled all of their public and private events until the end of March.
All public Los Angeles County buildings are closed to the public as well. As a result, The Los Angeles County Tax Collector is not accepting in-person property tax payments and is encouraging California residents to use their online bill pay services to pay their property taxes.