Pasadena to Take More ‘Aggressive’ Enforcement Stance Amid COVID Surge

New reported cases by day in Pasadena. | Graph courtesy of City of Pasadena

The dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is of great concern for the City of Pasadena, its residents, and healthcare partners. In a statement released Tuesday, officials said that the city will immediately “undertake broader and more aggressive enforcement efforts to slow the spread of the virus with respect to outdoor dining but also with respect to other activities with higher risk of disease transmission as identified by local case investigation, including social gatherings, worksites, and unauthorized recreational sports events.”

Because Pasadena is an independent local public health jurisdiction, it is subject to state orders, but maintains local public health authority separate from L.A. County. Officials said they “were not engaged by L.A. County for the dialogue or decision-making process with respect to closing outdoor dining” and will further evaluate the actions taken by the county on the matter. 

Officials said they will be increasing enforcement team’s visibility and activity, and will be communicating and coordinating directly with community and businesses, in light of the surge in COVID-19 cases.

“The City’s broad, aggressive enforcement strategy is an immediate necessity given the rate of increase in COVID-19 cases and potential strain on our healthcare resources,” stated Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, City of Pasadena heath officer. 

“Most restaurants operate in compliance with the rules, and those few who openly flaunt them and create a breeding ground for the transmission of the virus stand to ruin the possibility of outdoor dining for all.   We intend to identify them and to either bring them into compliance or to cite them or in the last resort to close them for the good of all and so that others can continue to operate.” said City Manager Steve Mermell.

The following are reminders regarding some of the rules already in place include:

  • Retail store occupancy may not exceed 25% of maximum capacity (as defined by the Fire Code). This capacity limit was previously established by the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy for local health jurisdictions in counties in Purple Tier 1.
  • Limitations on gatherings are still in place: people are permitted to gather outdoors with no more than two other households, for two hours or less, with all attendees wearing face coverings and maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet or more between households.
  • Sports competitions, such as softball and soccer games, are still not permitted.
  • Non-essential offices must remain closed for in-person operations and only conduct work remotely, as previously established by the California Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

The new restrictions as of Nov. 20 are as follows:

  • Personal care services that require either the customer or the staff to remove their face covering, such as facials, shaves, and threading are not permitted. All public health protocols must continue to be followed for other personal care services, including a requirement for services to be offered by appointment only, and as many services as possible provided outdoors.
  • Personal care services are now limited to 25% maximum capacity (as defined by the Fire Code).
  • Gatherings must meet the limitations stated above (outdoor, two hours or less, with face coverings worn and physical distancing between households) and may not exceed a total of 15 people from three or fewer households.
  • Restaurants, breweries and bars must cease service in their on-site, outdoor dining areas as of 10 p.m. and close their on-site dining areas thereafter until 5 a.m.

For additional information please visit for more information. 

November 25, 2020

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