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Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Top of the News May 24, 2020Mayor Terry TornekVice Mayor Tyron HamptonMembers of the Pasadena City CouncilPasadena, CA(By email)Re: Report and Related Documents Addressing Pasadena’s COVID-19 Response in Its Long-term Care FacilitiesDear Mayor Tornek, Vice Mayor Hampton, and Councilmembers:I am a longtime resident of Pasadena, an advocate for homeless neighbors in our community, a retired attorney after 31 years of state service, and a registered nurse (inactive). This letter addresses the following documents the City made public late last week related to Pasadena’s COVID-19 response for patients/residents and staff members residing or working in Pasadena’s long-term care facilities:May 21, 2020 Letter from Brenda Klutz to City Manager Steve Mermell; Ms. Klutz’ chronology entitled “ Onset of COVID-19 and the City of Pasadena’s Public Health Response” (“Chronology”); and City Attorney Michele Beal Bagneris’ “Summary of Health Officer’s Authority Relating to Skilled Nursing Facilities.”First, I want to thank you for authorizing the engagement of a consultant to consider Pasadena’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as related to Pasadena’s long-term care facilities. According to the City’s COVID-19 dashboard, the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths related to long-term care facilities in Pasadena are very high: 71% of the total cases and 88.6% of the total deaths citywide. In contrast, Los Angeles County and Orange County report that COVID-19 deaths related to skilled nursing facilities are 52% and 38% of total COVID-19 deaths countywide, respectively.The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVets) reports that, as of May 11, 2020, only two veterans (total) have died from COVID-19 in its eight CalVet Veterans Homes. Of significance, on March 15, 2020, CalVets began restricting all visitation to the homes except to those in hospice care. Prior to that, group events both on and off the campuses were postponed, communal dining for most residents was halted, every employee was screened before entering the home, and the department increased the cleaning and sanitizing of all spaces. (www.calvet.ca.gov/COVID19.)Given these substantial jurisdictional differences in outcomes, I previously requested the City Council to thoroughly examine the imminent report to determine how this City might have better outcomes for our most vulnerable residents on a going forward basis. I urged the PPHD to reach out to other jurisdictions that have had better outcomes and to the California Public Health Department to determine whether additional measures needed to be adopted. Further, if state regulatory gaps were identified, I urged that those be addressed.I have reviewed the three documents referenced above. Preliminarily, the Chronology raises a number of questions suggesting that further inquiry is warranted. Since I will be unable to ask those questions, I respectfully include those questions for your consideration in the Addendum attached to this letter, not to play “Monday morning quarterback,” but to, hopefully, elicit critical information that is missing or unclear that may be useful in protecting the patients/residents and staff in our long-term care facilities from the next wave of COVID-19 and beyond.Ms. Klutz’s one-page report notes that she was asked “to review the City of Pasadena Public Health Department’s (PPHD) actions, orders, public health nurse logs of onsite visits and calls, emails and other documents or assistance related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This review included the information sent to the administrators, directors of nursing and infection control preventionists providing care to the residents of the City of Pasadena’s long-term care facilities.” Ms. Klutz concludes as follows: “As a result of my review, I found the PPHD to have responded in a timely and thorough manner to provide orders and technical assistance to prevent, detect and/or mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.”I am unaware of Ms. Klutz’s expertise in epidemiology, infection control, pandemics, or public health. Assuming she is qualified to render the conclusions expressed in her report, the apparent scope of her assignment raises substantial concerns as Vice Mayor Hampton and Councilmember Gordo have already stated. Was she simply asked to review what PPHD did or, was she asked to evaluate why Pasadena’s numbers are so high as compared with other jurisdictions, whether there were possible measures that could have produced better outcomes, and whether there are gaps in regulations covering education, training, inspection and the like? The report itself does not suggest that she was tasked with providing guidance on how Pasadena may have better outcomes in the future by instituting additional protective measures in its long-term care facilities.I am certain that Dr. Goh and her staff are working very hard during this crisis and I am grateful for that. But our COVID-19 case and death rates in our long-term care facilities should receive our City’s highest attention and most resources. Patients and residents in our long-term care facilities are among our most vulnerable residents and they have borne the brunt of COVID-19. While I agree with Dr. Goh’s statement “[t]here needs to be discussions at a national level on how these facilities are funded, staffed and regulated,” what is our City going to do in the meantime? Is the PPHD going to follow the same measures it did in “the first wave” of COVID-19 (since no shortcomings are identified) and yet expect better results?Attorney Bagneris states in her memorandum as follows: “The City of Pasadena Public Health Department is a local health department with specific responsibilities and authorities for the protection of public health under the California Health and Safety Code. A city health department is independent of a county health department unless the city has elected to be included within the jurisdiction of the county health department.” (5/21/2020 Bagneris Memo. to City Council, citing Health & Safety Code section 101185.) It is unclear whether the city has elected to be included within the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles County Health Department. My review of this memorandum leads me to believe that is not the case, but I may be wrong. Attorney Bagneris also notes that “the California Department of Public Health may, in its discretion, opt to ‘control and regulate’ local health authorities, but has not elected to exercise that control at this time.” (Bagneris Memo., p. 1.) The statutory authority cited in the memorandum suggests that PPHD has a huge responsibility in protecting patients/residents and staff in our long-term care facilities.On May 26, 2020, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will be considering whether to approve a motion that provides for the appointment of an Inspector General to provide a report by August 1, 2020, “on the Oversight and Operations of Skilled Nursing Facilities in Los Angeles County (Report), with the Report to include an evaluation of SNFs within the County, and recommendations on operational and programmatic changes necessary to improve the County’s monitoring and oversight of these facilities, including legislative and regulatory recommendations aimed at improving operations within these facilities, given the role of State and Federal regulations impacting the operation of these facilities.” Since Pasadena has its own public health department, it is unclear how the motion applies to this City. I have reached out to Supervisor Barger’s Office for clarification. If the motion would not cover Pasadena’s long-term care facilities, I urge this Council to consider how Pasadena can adopt measures similar to those in the motion in order to provide accountability and best practices for the care and protection of our vulnerable patients/residents and staff members in our long-term care facilities in the future. I urge the Council to also examine the extent of PPHD’s regulatory authority over all of its long-term care facilities. If there are gaps in that authority, the Council should determine how to bridge those gaps.Thank you for your consideration.Sincerely,Sonja K. Berndt, R.N. (inactive), J.D.Cc: Michele Beal Bagneris, City AttorneyPasadena NowGot something to say, email Managing Editor André Coleman, at [email protected] Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes 53 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it last_img read more

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Russian Ventilator “Literally Explodes” Killing Five COVID-19 Patients

first_imgAn overtaxed ventilator exploded and caught fire at a St Petersburg hospital killing five coronavirus patients in an intensive care unit, according to Russian officials.The blaze was apparently started by a short-circuit in the ventilator and was quickly put out by first responders. One hundred fifty people were evacuated from the hospital and an unknown number of people have been injured,the country’s emergency ministry said.All the patients who died at St George Hospital had been on ventilators.“The ventilators are working to their limits. Preliminary indications are that it was overloaded and caught fire, and that was the cause,” a source at St Petersburg emergencies department told the Interfax news agency.It quotes doctors as saying a short-circuit caused a ventilator “literally to explode” because of the oxygen concentration, and the ward filled with smoke, which suffocated the patients.There have been regular reports of a shortage of ventilators in Russia, verified by President Vladimir Putin himself last month, the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford reports.Although production has increased, many old ventilators, made in the 1990’s, are still in use outside of a Moscow.State investigators have opened a case to determine whether there was criminal negligence – either in the ventilator design and manufacture or in the hospital’s fire precautions.The emergency services dispatched 105 firefighters and 55 vehicles to the hospital, officials said.Russia now has the second-highest number of confirmed infections worldwide after the United States. On Tuesday, it reported another 10,899 infections in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to more than 232,000.The capital, Moscow, is the worst-affected area and has reported more than 5,000 new cases in the past 24 hours.There are reports that some Russian-made ventilators are in use in the United States but they have been inspected for safety.last_img read more

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LA Lakers mindful youth development could influence free agency success

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I don’t really talk to nobody around the league,” Clarkson said. “I’m probably not the best recruiter.” Maybe some other aspects are. The Lakers will have more cap space considering Kobe Bryant’s pending retirement ($25 million) and Roy Hibbert’s possible defection ($15 million). But after striking out on free agency for three consecutive summers, the Lakers remain mindful their pitch meetings will involve how well Russell, Randle and Clarkson have played. Will Kevin Durant and DeMar DeRozan listen?“If we keep playing at a high level, the sky is the limit,” Russell said. “That could dictate who wants to come here and who feels like we don’t need to bring this guy here because we have such and such. We can play a certain part.”And yet…“Our success is coming from not worrying about any of that,” Russell said. “We’re just coming out, playing free with confidence and not worrying about something we can’t control.” The crisp passes and fluid outside shooting represents the beauty in D’Angelo Russell’s game. The brute strength and emerging jump shot captures Julius Randle’s versatility. The endless quest for self-improvement and production accounts for Jordan Clarkson’s consistency. But as the Lakers (14-51) enter Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers (44-18) at Staples Center, those qualities could determine something more than possibly extending a two-game winning streak. How the Lakers’ young core develops could also influence whether the franchise can convince free agents to sign their next deal with a purple and gold pen. “Free agents will look at our roster and look at our young guys,” Lakers coach Byron Scott said. “They’ll see if they think those guys can develop over the years and see what kind of potential there is before they make a decision.” It seems a bit much to ask of Russell, Randle and Clarkson, considering Tuesday’s win against Orlando marked the first time they collectively scored 20-point games. Russell respectfully deferred to the front office. Clarkson also admitted he has not exactly forged a lot of close friendships with marquee players.center_img So far, the approach has worked. Since returning to the starting lineup nine games ago, Russell has averaged 20.7 points, 4.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 48.2 percent both from the field and from 3-point range. Randle has led his sophomore class with 28 double doubles. Clarkson has scored at least 20 points in seven of the last 12 games. Meanwhile, the Lakers rank 15h out of 30 NBA teams in total offense since the All-Star break at 105.3 points per game on a 44.3 percent clip. That marked a stark increase from their pre All-Star performances that ranked 27th overall at 96.5 points per game on 41.2 percent shooting. The Lakers have mostly credited the new offensive set installed two weeks ago that focuses more on making reads over specific plays to ensure consistent ball movement and spacing.“I like the offense,” Russell said. “It forces everybody to be involved. It forces you to make basketball plays. When a team knows what you’re doing and they expect what you’re going to do, it forces you to think outside the box and create.”Russell stresses the offense is “tougher than you think” even if it pales to the other sets that relies more on plays. But Scott believes that has decreased Russell’s burden since the offense “takes the play-calling out of his hands.”“He’s responding great,” Scott said. “I give him some freedom to call different plays when he’s out there. But for the most part, I want us to continue to run the early set.”In turn, Lakers center Hibbert noticed that Russell has recently run the offense as he sees fit. After openly wondering if he had credibility to become a leader as a rookie, Russell has also become more assertive in both encouraging veteran teammates and directing them on the court. “You couldn’t put Kobe in a kindergarten class and tell him to be quiet,” Russell said, smiling. “If he sees something wrong, he’s going to have to talk. I’m not comparing myself to him. But it eats you inside when you can’t be a leader when you know that’s you. Credibility gives you a longer leeway of guys respecting what you say. When you play well and say something, a guy might listen to you. If you’re playing horrible and you say something, they might look at it a different way.” Russell and his young teammates have 17 games left to build more credibility toward prospective teammates. “Everybody watches everybody in the NBA. Hopefully they’re all watching and seeing some good stuff,” said Clarkson, who would like to re-sign with the Lakers as a restricted free agent. “But at the same time, we’re trying to grow as our own.” last_img read more

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