April 3, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

LA Marathon Still on Course Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Race activities to go on as planned, say organizers as LA County declares state of local emergency

By Sam Catanzaro

Amid a local emergency declared by county leaders, the Los Angeles Marathon, which ends in Santa Monica, is still set to proceed as planned event organizers say.

“All Los Angeles Marathon weekend activities are scheduled to take place as planned. Safety is always our first priority and our operations team has been in consistent dialogue with local authorities and monitoring developments related to all safety aspects of the Marathon including coronavirus,” race officials said in a statement. “If circumstances change, we will work closely with local, state and federal authorities to implement any necessary plans and protocols for the marathon.”

On Wednesday, March 4 both the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles declared states of local emergencies in response to six new confirmed cases of coronavirus.

There have now been seven confirmed cases in the county this year. The very first case — a person who had traveled from Wuhan, China was reported on Jan. 26. That patient recovered and is no longer infectious, according to public health officials.

According to Barbara Ferrer Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the new cases are linked to a known exposure.

“As of today, we still don’t have known cases of community transmission,” Ferrer said.

Public health officials say among the new cases, one person is hospitalized while the other five are isolated at home.

On Tuesday Kaiser Permanente in West Los Angeles confirmed it was overseeing the care of an infected patient at home in self-isolation being treated on an outpatient basis.

The City of Santa Monica says there are no known cases in Santa Monica and that they are working closely with the L.A. County Department of Public Health to monitor coronavirus.

Barbara Ferrer, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, speaking at a news conference Wednesday morning. Photo: LA County.

“Santa Monica is monitoring the coronavirus hour by hour in close collaboration with the LA County Department of Public Health,” said Mayor Kevin McKeown. “We are committed to keeping the community apprised of updates and impacts as the situation evolves. Everyone plays a role in helping prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses. We ask the community to follow the recommended practices to protect your families, neighbors, and the entire community.”

In addition to the local emergency declared by county officials, the City of Los Angeles, the City of Long Beach and the City of Pasadena this morning declared a Level Three local emergency. This Level Three local emergency enables local agencies with their own public health departments to transition into full preparedness mode and makes them eligible for state and federal funding for any increase in COVID-19 cases and possible community spread.

The local emergency the County has declared extends to Santa Monica, although the city has not declared a local emergency of their own.

“We are aligned closely with local hospitals, schools, businesses, and community organizations to ensure that our community members know where to access the latest official coronavirus information, how to be prepared, and any impacts on our city,” said Santa Monica City Manager Rick Cole. “We have contingency plans in place and our team is trained in multi-hazard emergency coordination, including working with our partners at LA County Department of Public Health for this type of public health crisis.”

Local officials urge the public to do the following:

  • Avoid / Stay away from sick people;
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand cleaner;
  • Keep hands away from eyes, nose, and mouth;
  • Disinfect public counters, desks, common areas, phones, keyboards, etc.;
  • Use disinfectant wipes identified for use against Influenza A&B and Coronaviruses;
  • If you have symptoms (fever, cough, vomiting, difficulty breathing) stay home and call your doctor;
  • Remain home until you have spoken with your doctor or health provider and are cleared to return to work; and
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
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