Portion of Huntington Harbour closed after sewage spill

HUNTINGTON BEACH — A 250-gallon sewage spill in Huntington Beach forced Orange County Health Care Agency officials to close a portion of the harbor Tuesday night.

The closure, announced at 5 p.m., encompasses all water contact 100 yards north and 100 yards south of the Warner Public Dock until further notice. Water quality monitoring procedures are underway, and the closure will not be lifted until the water meets acceptable standards.

The sewage came from the accidental release of a boat’s holding tank, HCA officials said.

The HCA has closed the harbor water area 100 yards north and south of the Warner Public Dock in HB due to a sewage spill. The spill of approximately 250 gallons was caused by an accidental release from a boat’s holding tank at the Harbour. READ MORE https://t.co/G2849LzsJq pic.twitter.com/KoXComBppo

— OC Health Care Agency (@ochealth) October 20, 2021

For information regarding Orange County ocean, bay or harbor postings and closures, call 714-433-6400 or visit www.OCBeachinfo.com

To report a sewage spill, please call 714-433-6419.

Powered by WPeMatico

COVID-19 ‘whiplash’ is messing with Southern California’s psyche

  • Nancy Sexton, owner of The Muse Rooms in Burbank and Hollywood, at one of her coworking spaces. (Courtesy)

  • People receive COVID-19 vaccinations at a Medi-Vaxx Program of the San Fernando Valley pop up clinic at the Montague Charter Academy in Arleta, Monday, August 2, 2021. The Fernandeno Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, as part of its participation in the Medi-Vaxx Program of the San Fernando Valley, held the clinic that administered first doses of the vaccine. Monday, August, 2, 2021. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • John Tsilimparis, a marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles, says clients have what is called “COVID-Whiplash,” or frustration over changing sets of health orders, just when life was starting to get back to “normal.” He was photographed in his office on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.
    (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • John Tsilimparis, a marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles, says clients have what is called “COVID-Whiplash,” or frustration over changing sets of health orders, just when life was starting to get back to “normal.” He was photographed in his office on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.
    (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • John Tsilimparis, a marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles, says clients have what is called “COVID-Whiplash,” or frustration over changing sets of health orders, just when life was starting to get back to “normal.” He was photographed in his office on Wednesday, August 4, 2021.
    (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Registered nurse Marie Piverger administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Villa, of Colton, at St. Catherine of Siena in Rialto on Thursday, July 22, 2021. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

of

Expand

It wasn’t that long ago that Southern California was gearing up for bidding the coronavirus a collective “good riddance.” On June 15, the state lifted the bulk of its COVID-era restrictions, setting off significant buzz about weddings, family reunions, music festivals and a general return to normal, pre-pandemic activity.

Finally, we sighed, we are starting to see each other’s faces again.

“We appreciate the hard work of everyone to keep each other safe and healthy; your efforts make it possible for us to look forward to a full reopening next week,” a hopeful Los Angeles County Public Health Chief Barbara Ferrer declared at the time.

President Joe Biden proclaimed:  “America is headed into a summer dramatically different from last year’s summer … A summer of freedom. A summer of joy. A summer of get-togethers and celebrations.”

What a difference a month makes.

As the pandemic creeps into its 18th month, Southern Californians are feeling whipsawed by new mask mandates, employer vaccination requirements, rising virus caseloads and spiraling hospitalizations. It’s left many people fraught with uncertainty. Should I be out in public? Should I travel? Will my job be moved back to my living room? Are my kids safe returning to school?

“That makes me so angry,” said Nancy Sexton, owner of The Muse Rooms, a Burbank-based company that rents co-working office space, bemoaning the still-worrisome number of people who’ve failed to get vaccinated. “Because the only reason we are back here is the mistrust in the vaccine and hesitancy.”

The uncertainty itself has sparked a kind of reluctant, clumsy pivot in the Southern California COVID-19 zeitgeist, with a our seemingly open path to normalcy suddenly tangled after five solid months of improving statistics and steadily building optimism.

Sexton is among local folks who forged ahead with her business and family, amid her fears. She’s getting ready to open a new site in Hollywood despite the economic toll of the COVID-19 outbreak and her husband Tim’s cancer diagnosis.

“The delta variant has really thrown a loop in things,” said Sexton. “I started to question, man, should I start wearing a mask now when I’m out walking the dog, now that this thing is more contagious than we’ve had before.”

Like many, she’d never stopped wearing a mask in public. “It was nice to walk into work knowing everyone is vaccinated and feeling very comfortable about that,” she said.

The whiplash culminated last week when public health reversals and mixed messaging at the highest levels of government rattled the core of what Americans — and some experts in the field — thought they knew about the virus.

While the vaccines developed under the Trump administration remain hugely effective against serious illness and death, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that unvaccinated people might be able to spread the delta mutant to others, just as easily as unvaccinated people. The delta is much more contagious than the original virus — or even the seasonal flu — and could be as contagious as chickenpox, according to an internal document circulated within the CDC.

Such revelations, combined with rising caseloads and hospitalizations, inspired Los Angeles County to revive its requirement for residents to wear masks indoors when gathering in public. Pasadena, Los Angeles and Long Beach moved to require vaccinations for employees. Other communities and school districts shifted their restrictions, too.

L.A. Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis followed suit with an executive order requiring shots for county’s more than 100,000 workers.  On the heels of a similar measure in New York City, L.A.’s City Council weighed a motion that would require proof of at least partial vaccination against COVID-19 to enter public indoor spaces, including restaurants, bars, gyms, concert venues and movie theaters.

Confusion erupted, too. In Orange County, school district officials said the state Department of Health confounded parents on July 13, when it issued two statements about masks at school. The agency said schools “must exclude” students if they come to class without a mask and refuse to wear one provided by the school. But later that same day, the agency issued a second statement that kept the mandate in place – and gave individual districts leeway on how to enforce it – but removed the words “must exclude” from its guideline. The county’s Board of Education voted to sue the state.

The drama has played out on a national scale, too. For example, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other officials have defied the revival of mask mandates, even in the face huge caseload spikes.

While we desperately want to be done with this pandemic, COVID-19 is clearly not done with us,” Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the CDC, told reporters, “and so our battle must last a little longer.”

Walensky added: “This is hard. This is heavy. But we are in this together.”

Easier said than done.

Questions swirl about whether people can get back to their pre-pandemic lives — and when. Can we eat indoors? Should students wear masks when they go back to campus — or just return to learning from their homes? Should employers require workers to get shots?

The most complex factor: The evolving disease is itself a moving target.

“When you do have a shifting message that is not consistent, it makes it more difficult for a person to discern what’s true at any given moment and whether to trust the messaging if it’s going to change the next week,” said Marsha Godwin, professor of public administration at the University of La Verne and an expert in local government administration.

It’s one thing to order evacuations during a fire, or urge safety measures to manage a short-range calamity, but crisis communications have risen to a whole new level of complexity during this enduring outbreak, she said. It’s a challenge for experts to successfully communicate consistent, cohesive public-health messages.

“It is particularly hard to say ‘I do not know’ and ‘I will get back to you,’” Godwin said.

Andrew Noymer, professor of public health at UC Irvine, said it’s not the reversals that were notable out of the federal government’s shifts on COVID last week. Rather, it was the need for more transparency.

“I don’t mind the flip-flopping so much because of the data. It was a calculated risk to tell people that they can unmask if they are vaccinated,” said Noymer, an epidemiologist. “It’s the way flip-flopping has been communicated. I’d like transparency to be a hallmark of the public response.”

The reignited battle with the virus has taken an emotional toll, said area therapists, who have been counseling pandemic-weary clients who went from end-in-sight optimism to it’ll-never-end depression.

Uncertainty and emotion “encoded” in people’s minds from the worst days of the pandemic have resurfaced, said John Tsilimparis, a Los Angeles-based therapist.

“Most people really, really struggled with uncertainty,” he said, adding that addiction and underlying mental health problems were only compounded.

“What I’m hearing from people is that they are afraid of the delta variant, afraid of the economy returning to lockdown status, and they are afraid of the people who won’t get vaccinated,” he said.

Don Grant, director of Outpatient Services for Newport Healthcare, said not helping matters is also the re-emergence of anger.

“People are angry. People don’t know what to believe,” and that has manifested itself in fear and resentment, he said.

“We were let free (by improving statistics and eased restrictions), and now we’re being told we don’t know when this is going to end,” Grant said.

But, Grant said, that  doesn’t mean we’re altogether helpless when it comes to our mental health.

In an era of uncertainty, experts point to the need to preserve as best we can a sense of normalcy, even amid a resurgent crisis.

Telling ourselves, “It’s horrible, we’re going to go back into the lockdown,” can inspire a sense of powerlessness, Tsilimparis said. “But what I can control is the focus on my children, my work, my projects at home … .”

Tsilimparis also urged a pulling back from “emotional reasoning,” and our propensity to revert to the “fight-or-flight process” in our brains.

It’s important to pull back on that instinct of instant fear and to be able to assess, evaluate and prioritize concerns. Fear triggers are centered in the brain, having evolved over the centuries from our species’ days of shifting into action to flee saber-tooth tigers. But now, such responses can lead instead to substance abuse, Tsilimparis said, noting a troubling rise in drug and alcohol use during the pandemic, as well opioid-overdose deaths.

Grant also recommended easing up on our instinct to resent, even hate, the folks and factors they blame for the rekindled crisis.

“People who are vaccinated are becoming resentful of people who aren’t,” he said. “We need to be careful, mindful and respectful. We are all fighting a war. We need to really be kind to others and ourselves and to be flexible.”

Riverside residents Brent and Alice Bechtel were heeding that message as they prepared this week for a scuba diving trip to the Bahamas, where they will meet 20 friends from around the country.

The trip was supposed to be last year, times to the couple’s 40th wedding anniversary. But the pandemic grounded them.

Despite the resurgent virus — particularly in Florida where Bechtels will stop on their way — they feel confident enough to go. They’re vaccinated, prepared and optimistic.

“We’re set for it. We’re packed,” Brent Bechtel said, adding that they’re “pretty doggone excited.”

The Bechtel said they will take precautions, but also try to be understanding of those who haven’t been vaccinated.

“If someone is against the vaccine, that’s fine. But they’re the ones who are going to have to deal with the decision that they make,” he said. “My decision is to get a vaccine and be respectful of other people.”

Bechtel added: “As Americans, as people in this world, to be able to give respect and have compassion for others is what it’s going to take to get through this.”

Powered by WPeMatico

43 employees at Kaiser medical center in San Jose test positive for COVID-19

SAN JOSE — Some 43 employees at the Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center Emergency Department tested positive for COVID-19 between Dec. 27 and Jan. 1, according to a senior official at the hospital.

“We will ensure that every affected staff member receives the care and support they need,” Irene Chavez, a senior vice president for Kaiser Permanente, said in a statement. “Using our infection prevention protocols, we are investigating the outbreak and using contact tracing to personally notify and test any staff or patients who were exposed during this time period based on (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and public health guidelines.”

Chavez said the hospital is moving quickly to test all emergency department employees and physicians for COVID-19.  Employees confirmed to have COVID-19 or suspected of having the virus due to symptoms will not come to work, she said.

The Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center remains open, officials said Saturday.

 

Read more about 43 employees at Kaiser medical center in San Jose test positive for COVID-19 This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Coronavirus: Gov. Newsom and family quarantine after exposure, all test negative

SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his family are quarantining after three of his children were exposed to someone who tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said late Sunday.

Newsom, his wife and four children all tested negative for the virus on Sunday, spokesman Jesse Melgar said in an emailed statement.

Newsom was notified Friday evening that a California Highway Patrol member who had contact with three of his children later tested positive for the virus. The California Highway Patrol provides security for Newsom and his family. Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, did not have contact with the officer.

The Newsoms were not tested until Sunday based on advice from health professionals “to improve the accuracy of the test,” Melgar said.

The family is quarantining at their home in Sacramento County. They will be tested regularly, Melgar said. Newsom’s children range in age from 4 to 11.

Read more about Coronavirus: Gov. Newsom and family quarantine after exposure, all test negative This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Sewage spill closes bay water in Huntington Harbour

HUNTINGTON BEACH — All of the Huntington Harbour bay water area in Huntington Beach is closed until further notice to swimming, surfing and diving due to a sewage spill, officials announced Monday night.

The spill was caused by a cracked force main, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Environmental Health Division. The date the main cracked was not immediately disclosed.

The affected area will remain closed until future tests of water quality meet acceptable standards, the agency said.

Read more about Sewage spill closes bay water in Huntington Harbour This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Anaheim man, formerly a Long Beach physician assistant, gets 18 months for illegal distribution of narcotics

LOS ANGELES — A former Long Beach physician assistant was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months behind bars and a year of home confinement for diverting dangerous narcotics to the black market.

Gabriel Hernandez, 59, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Christine Snyder to pay a $13,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Hernandez, who worked at a Long Beach pain management clinic known as Vortex Wellness & Aesthetics, pleaded guilty last year to a federal charge of distributing oxycodone without a legitimate medical purpose.

The Anaheim man was arrested in February 2019 as part of an investigation codenamed Hypocritical Oath, a yearlong U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-led probe targeting doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and clinic operators suspected of illegally providing controlled substances to so-called patients and black market customers in violation of their oaths to do no harm.

Over a two-year period that ended in November 2018, Hernandez prescribed nearly 6,000 controlled substances — more than half of which were for maximum-strength oxycodone, which means he was responsible for 446,000 oxycodone pills being dispensed.

Hernandez often wrote prescriptions for drug cocktails known on the street as the holy trinity — a narcotic, tranquilizer and/or muscle relaxant — which are sought by drug addicts and are particularly dangerous because of the threat of fatal overdose.

In 2017, according to records maintained by the state of California, Hernandez wrote a prescription for the three drugs to a 41-year-old man who died a week later from the combined effects of alcohol and two of the prescribed drugs, the criminal complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court states.

A San Diego pharmacist contacted investigators in late 2018 about suspicious and identical prescriptions Hernandez wrote to three people who appeared to be living in the same house more than a hundred miles away from the Vortex clinic.

A medical expert who reviewed data on Hernandez’s prescription history and tapes of two office visits by a law enforcement source concluded that Hernandez’s actions were “much closer to that of an illegal drug dealer than that of a physician, and the patient visits are a sham,” court papers show.

Read more about Anaheim man, formerly a Long Beach physician assistant, gets 18 months for illegal distribution of narcotics This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Orange County Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

Court panel rejects Manson follower Leslie Van Houten’s bid for release because of the coronavirus

LOS ANGELES — A state appeals court panel Wednesday rejected a bid to release former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten on her own recognizance or bail after an inmate in her prison housing unit tested positive for coronavirus.


Leslie Van Houten waits with her attorney Rich Pfeiffer before her parole board hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, at the California Institution for Women in Chino.(Stan Lim, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

Van Houten’s attorney, Rich Pfeiffer, wrote in a new motion filed Monday that his client is now 70 years old and that “her age makes her a very high risk to succumbing to this life-threatening pandemic” although she is in “relatively good health.”

He noted in the filing that an inmate in Van Houten’s housing unit tested positive for COVID-19 and is being quarantined. He wrote in the motion that Van Houten was “not opposed to home confinement” and that she can arrange for all costs outside of prison.

Van Houten is imprisoned at the California Institution for Women in Chino.

Van Houten has been recommended for parole three times, but those recommendations have all been reversed — twice by then-Gov. Jerry Brown and once in 2019 by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

In February, the defense had asked the panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal to speed up her appeal of Newsom’s decision.

Van Houten — who is serving a life prison term — was convicted of murder and conspiracy for participating with fellow Manson family members Charles “Tex” Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel in the August 1969 killings of grocer Leno La Bianca, 44, and his 38-year-old wife, Rosemary, who were each stabbed multiple times in their Los Feliz home.

The former Monrovia High School cheerleader did not participate in the Manson family’s killings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in a Benedict Canyon mansion the night before.

Read more about Court panel rejects Manson follower Leslie Van Houten’s bid for release because of the coronavirus This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. Santa Ana Shredding Service

Powered by WPeMatico

Killer, 73, to be released from women’s prison in Chino because of coronavirus concerns

VISTA — A 73-year-old Southern California woman who has spent nearly two decades in prison for killing her husband will be released while fighting her conviction because her health may be at risk from the coronavirus if she remains behind bars, a judge ruled.

A San Diego County Superior Court judge on Monday granted an emergency plea on behalf of Jane Dorotik, whose lawyers said she was at extreme risk of getting COVID-19 because of her age, a heart condition and the close quarters of prison that made it impossible to maintain social distancing.

Dorotik was expected to be released from the California Institution for Women in Chino this week.

As of Tuesday evening, two staff members and one inmate at the prison had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Dorotik was serving a sentence of 25 years to life for the death of her husband, Robert. The 55-year-old was found beaten and strangled on a roadside in 2000, near the Valley Center horse ranch the couple rented. His body was discovered a day after his wife reported that he had vanished after going jogging.

Prosecutors contended that Dorotik killed him with a hammer and a rope.

However, the Loyola Law School Project for the Innocent sought a new trial, contending that the police investigation was flawed, that the prosecution presented false blood and DNA evidence to the jury and that new DNA testing of the rope and the body didn’t find any link to Dorotik.

Dorotik’s lawyers filed a writ of habeus corpus challenging her detention. A hearing was scheduled earlier this month but it was sidetracked by coronavirus concerns when the court was closed to all but a few emergency matters.

Last Friday, however, the court issued a revised closure order allowing hearings like Dorotik’s to be heard, which led to Monday’s ruling.

“We argued to the court that it would truly be a tragic outcome if, just as she’s about to prove her innocence, Jane were to contract the deadly coronavirus while in prison waiting for her hearing to take place,” Paige McGrail, a student with the Project for the Innocent who has worked on the case for two years.

Dorotik was expected to stay with her sister in Los Angeles County and will have to self-quarantine for two weeks and must wear an ankle monitor, Paula Mitchell, legal director of the innocence group, told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The San Diego County district attorney’s office opposed Dorotik’s release, arguing that she didn’t qualify for the unusual step of releasing her, the Union-Tribune said, citing a statement from spokesman Steve Walker.

Read more about Killer, 73, to be released from women’s prison in Chino because of coronavirus concerns This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Coronavirus: 2 Southern California front-line workers hope to rebound after their gear is stolen

On his second night back home with his family after a month spent reporting to a growing number of people with flu-like symptoms and for some, the new coronavirus, Craig Heard, a Los Angeles County fire captain, was sleeping next to his wife in their Whittier house when a thief began to pick the lock of his pickup truck.

Inside the covered bed of the truck sat all of his fire gear, personal protective equipment and uniforms. On a normal day, Heard would have plopped his things in the living room. But he has adjusted to his new normal, reporting to medical calls where he came in contact with about 20 patients who eventually tested positive for COVID-19, two of whom required hospitalization. To protect his family from infection, Heard left his gear, possibly infected by the virus, inside his pickup.

A surveillance camera from Heard’s home shows a dark-colored truck pull up next to Heard’s white pickup on April 10. A man gets out of the truck. It takes him a little over one minute to unlock the door, start the truck, flip on the headlights and drive away.


A still taken from home surveillance footage that shows the movements just before the thief drives away with the white pickup truck of Craig Heard, 41, of Whittier, a Los Angeles County fire captain. (Courtesy of Craig Heard)

The next morning, Heard, 41, went outside to run an errand, and instead of seeing his white 2005 GMC, he saw the concrete curb and an empty patch of asphalt.

“I was pretty shocked,” Heard said, adding this was the first time he had been victim of theft.

Though crime has been down across Southern California while most people are staying home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, some thieves have still been up to the task. And for those on the front lines of carrying out their jobs in the face of the pandemic, such as first responders and healthcare workers, being a victim of theft can feel extra shocking and untimely.

Equipment shortages

Donna Burbaj, 31, a home health nurse living in Riverside, was isolated in her room after testing positive for COVID-19 when a thief decided to steal from her. She had contracted the virus from a relative who also works in healthcare, a cardiologist.

On Wednesday morning, Burbaj awoke to a call from her roommate. The doors of her car were open. Burbaj’s boyfriend went to investigate: the glove compartment and center console were ajar, and missing from the backseat were her two work bags, full of medical supplies and equipment.

Inside the bags were surgical masks, gloves, Clorox wipes, a blood pressure monitor, a thermometer, syringes and needles, and a stethoscope. Similar to Heard, Burbaj kept the bags in her car to prevent possible spread of the virus to her three roommates.

Burbaj said she spent a part of that morning crying, processing the feeling of being violated, an uninvited stranger stepping into her domain, another problem to deal with in what had already been a stressful week in isolation.

“It just sucks. I go out to different people’s houses and I know even in our office, they’re low on supplies and masks,” Burbaj said.

Most of her patients are elderly and have chronic illness such as diabetes that put them at higher risk of developing severe symptoms if they contract the COVID-19 virus. Wearing personal protection equipment while in their homes can mean a matter of life or death for her patients.

Both Burbaj and Heard have had to pay out of pocket to replace some of their equipment.

While the county is covering the cost for his helmet, jacket, pants, and air respirator mask, he has to pay for his uniform, boots, badge, helmet shield, gloves, and all of his tools, such as cutting devices used when extricating people trapped inside their cars after a collision.

Burbaj’s sister blasted out the experience of that theft on Instagram and was able to raise enough funds to cover most of the costs to replace the equipment. But prices for things have inflated. A forehead thermometer that had cost her $20 to $40 now runs at about $100 online, she said.

But among the stolen items were irreplaceable things. Burbaj’s stethoscope was a gift from her boyfriend after she graduated from nursing school. And in Heard’s glove compartment were various mementos like old fire ID’s from his time as a firefighter with Ventura County fire in the 90s.


A photo of Los Angeles County fire Capt. Craig Heard’s truck that was stolen from his Whittier home on April 10. (Courtesy of Craig Heard)

‘You can keep the truck’

Despite the uneasy feeling of having been stolen from, Burbaj said she gives the thief the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they’re stealing because they are in a desperate situation themselves, she said. And she wonders if the thief had been exposed to the virus.

“I feel bad ’cause they touched things that I touched. And they were in a space where I coughed in and sneezed in. They’re technically exposed to that,” Burbaj said.

Heard thinks the thieves had no idea they were stealing from a firefighter. He acknowledged the pandemic has left many people struggling economically.

In an effort to at least recover his gear, Heard posted photos and messages onto various community pages on Facebook, some garnering thousands of views and shares.

“PLEASE, return my gear and badge to any Fire station, no questions asked,” Heard wrote in one of those posts. “You can keep the truck.”

Returning to work

Heard filed a police report with Whittier police. Though he thinks it’s likely the thieves freaked out when they saw the fire gear and tossed it into a dumpster.

“The world goes on. It’s just another day. I just gotta move on. It did suck. But you just gotta move forward,” Heard said. For now, when he returns to work, he will rely on some spare equipment at the fire station and plans to borrow some from co-workers.


A still from home surveillance footage of the dark-colored truck suspected of assisting in the theft of Los Angeles County fire Capt. Craig Heard’s pickup truck from his Whittier home on April 10. (Courtesy of Craig Heard)

 

For Burbaj, she is already focused on returning to work. She is considering a move from home health to inpatient care and has been applying at many hospitals that are trying to meet the rising demand for nurses. When her symptoms subside, she plans on getting tested again for the disease. If negative, she’s eager to head back, despite the ongoing risk of coming in contact with others daily.

“I feel like it’s something I’ve been trained for. It’s something where I always knew the risk,” she said. “More than ever I know I want to do this.”

Read more about Coronavirus: 2 Southern California front-line workers hope to rebound after their gear is stolen This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico

Coronavirus: Family emergency planning should take pets into account

  • Callie Acosta of Riverside gives love to her newly adopted Gizz-Moe, a 10-year-old, blind, shih tzu mix, at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Chairs are set up outside in case of a crowd at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center’s intake area in Riverside on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. “Visitors are following the six foot rule. Families are obviously staying together, but the others are doing good with following. Sometimes it takes a verbal reminder, but they have all be very receptive and have reacted positively,” says Molly Shannon, community relations mgr. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Sound
    The gallery will resume inseconds
  • Penelope, 10, is greeted by a gloved and masked potential owner at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Callie Acosta of Riverside shows her enthusiasm after adopting Gizz-Moe, a 10-year-old, blind shih tzu mix, at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Southern California agencies recommend pet owners have a plan for someone to take care of their animals should they get sick with coronavirus. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Angela Eaton of Menifee walks toward the grassy area to meet a prospective dog at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center in Riverside on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Gini, 2, gets exercise with Caitlyn Fuller, adoption counselor, at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center in Riverside on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Chairs are set up outside in case of a crowd at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center’s intake area in Riverside on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. “Visitors are following the six foot rule. Families are obviously staying together, but the others are doing good with following. Sometimes it takes a verbal reminder, but they have all be very receptive and have reacted positively,” says Molly Shannon, community relations mgr. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Animals are up for adoption, including some surrenders due to the coronavirus at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center in Riverside on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • “Help may be available in the form of friends, family or community resources. An example is our Pet Food Assistance Program, which provides dog or cat food to those experiencing a hardship. Most organizations, including ours, would prefer for pets to stay with their owners, but understand that’s not always possible. That’s where our owner surrenders, done by appointment, can help,” Molly Shannon, community relations mgr., says at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center in Riverside on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • “If you’ve been thinking of adopting, now is a great time. You’ll be home more to help the pet get acclimated to you and it’s new house. Also, pet owners should reach out if they need help during this time,” Molly Shannon, community relations mgr., says at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center in Riverside on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • If you need a three-legged friend, Abel is your man, up for adoption at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center in Riverside on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Aspen is an owner surrender due to the coronavirus at Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center in Riverside on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

of

Expand

Southern California residents should keep pets in mind during the coronavirus pandemic — and not just their own pets, officials say.

Animal care agencies in recent days have advised people to create an emergency plan for their pets, just as they should have family emergency plans. Such a plan for pets would be executed if an animal owner is hospitalized for coronavirus and could include plans for someone to care for the pet or pets.

In addition, with many shelters closed or having limited services during the pandemic, people may be asked to look out for and temporarily care for strays they may find in their neighborhoods.

The San Bernardino Police Department said that it and the San Bernardino County Coalition of Animal Shelters are asking residents to prepare emergency plans for their pets.

“With the rapid increase of (coronavirus) cases in Southern California, the demand for hospital stays and medical assistance from hospitals and medical providers is escalating,” police said in a statement. “Animal shelters are preparing for a surge in lost and temporarily homeless animals as a result.”

The Inland Valley Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said pet owners should put together extra food, two weeks of medication, a kennel and any other necessary supplies for a pet in the event of illness.

In addition, pet owners should find a temporary caregiver for their pets. Caregivers could range from a family member or neighbor to a pet-sitter or boarding facility.

“Make sure all pets have proper identification with your name and contact information,” San Bernardino police said. “Document whether your pet(s) are up to date on vaccinations, write your veterinarian’s contact information and provide the information of some family or friends who will be able to update your pet’s caregiver on your medical status.”

LA Animal Services offered similar advice on an emergency plan for pet owners in a March 13 statement.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said it isn’t uncommon for deputies to run into situations involving pets and their owners.

“Each incident is on a case-by-case basis,” officials said in a statement. “Depending on the situation, we either coordinate with a family member, neighbor or we contact animal control to take possession of the animal. Ultimately, it really depends on the circumstances.”

Several animal shelters throughout Southern California have shut down or have limited operations during the coronavirus pandemic. Those who need information or services should contact their local shelter or check its website.

“People need to figure out who is going to take care of their pets if they go to the hospital or god forbid, they die,” said Maryanne Dell, former pets columnist for the Orange County Register and president of the Shamrock Rescue Foundation in Santa Ana.

Dell said someone could ask a vet if they can board their pet if something were to happen to them, or arrange with a friend who could keep the animal at their house

“By having a plan, you can rest assured that your animal companions will be cared for no matter the circumstance,” the Inland Valley Humane Society & SPCA said. “Your preparedness plan also allows public animal shelters to maintain space and be better prepared for stray pets, animal welfare emergencies and the upcoming kitten season.”

LA Animal Services also said Wednesday that it will not turn away any sick or injured animals during the pandemic. It also suggested that people finding pets wandering in their neighborhoods post photos and descriptions of them on social media — and consider sheltering them for up to 30 days to free up space in shelters.

“Another way Angelenos can help is to consider our Shelter-at-Home Program and foster the dog or cat, while searching for the owner,” LA Animal Services said.

The Shelter-at-Home program is a process through which a person finds a pet, advises Animal Services that it is lost and then houses the animal while searching for its owner. Animal Services said after 30 days but before 32 days, the person who found the pet must either decide to keep it or surrender the animal to Animal Services.

A person housing a pet through the program will free up space in shelters throughout the city.

“We’re also taking in pets whose owner has died, leaving them alone, as well as taking in pets whose owner lives alone and is too sick to care for them,” Brenda Barnette, general manager for LA Animal Services, said in a statement Wednesday.

Read more about Coronavirus: Family emergency planning should take pets into account This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

Powered by WPeMatico