Red Cross Urgently Seeks More Blood Donations

Amid reports that hundreds of blood drives have been canceled recently as fears about coronavirus risks have increased, the American Red Cross has restated its commitment to the safety of donors, patients, volunteers and staff members.
A Red Cross leader made a plea for blood donations and spoke about safety measures the organization has taken.
“We recognize that this health crisis may create some questions about donating blood at this time,” said American Red Cross Biomedical Services President Chris Hrouda.
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Local Chinese American Club Donates Much-Needed Masks

Photo courtesy of Caroline Anderson
HaiHui Voth, Lola Dietrich, LiJuan Deng, Ashley Dietrich, Jack Wang, Derek Jiang and Liang Wei display masks from the Chinese Club of La Cañada and La Crescenta that were given to the La Cañada Unified School District.

The Chinese Club of La Cañada and La Crescenta has been busy donating masks to local organizations.
Last week, members supplied masks to La Cañada Flintridge city officials, the La Cañada Unified School District and the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station, among others.
“We are grateful for this generous gift to the city,” said Rebekka Hosken, director of finance for the city of LCF, which received 100 masks last Thursday. “These masks are greatly appreciated to help protect the safety of our staff members and to ensure we remain healthy and able to continue serving the public.”
Shahan Atmajian, the city’s emergency services coordinator, will distribute them to staff.
Mark Evans, associate superintendent of business and administrative services for LCUSD, said the district received 150 masks.
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Walker, Eich, Gunter Officially Win Council Seats; School Parcel Tax Victorious

With the results now officially certified, it is confirmed the La Cañada Flintridge City Council will have some new and familiar faces.
Councilwoman Terry Walker, city Public Works and Traffic Commissioner Keith Eich and former Planning Commissioner Rick Gunter were certified on March 27 by Los Angeles County as the victors in an election for three open council seats.
The new members will take the dais at a City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 7, said LCF City Manager Mark Alexander.
“The meeting will subsequently include the virtual swearing-in of Mr. Eich and Mr. Gunter and they will immediately assume office,” Alexander said in an email. “We will then have the selection of the new mayor and mayor pro tem.”
A more ceremonial swearing-in with friends and family, as well as recognition of retiring council members Leonard Pieroni and Gregory Brown, is likely to occur at a later date, Alexander said.
Meanwhile, the La Cañada Unified School District’s Measure LC passed with more than 70% of the ballots cast by registered voters in the LCUSD area in support. The parcel tax renewal needed two-thirds of voter support, or at least 66.7%, to pass.
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LCUSD Extends School Closures Through May 5

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
The La Cañada Unified School District board and staff members met virtually on March 31 at a special meeting that included Anais Wenn (front, from left), Dan Jeffries and Brent Kuszyk. Middle: Mark Evans, Ellen Multari and Kaitzer Puglia. Back: Joe Radabaugh, Jamie Lewsadder and Wendy Sinnette.

The La Cañada Unified School District board voted to extend school closures through Tuesday, May 5, at a Tuesday night special virtual meeting, and acknowledged that the timeline could be further pushed back.
The vote took into account the recommended May 5 date put forth by the Los Angeles County Office of Education. The meeting featured governing board members attending virtually, or via video conferencing site Zoom, and was broadcast live on YouTube.
Before voting, Superintendent Wendy Sinnette spoke of the statement from the California Department of Education, sent earlier on Tuesday, which said it “currently appears” students will not be able to return to school campuses before the end of the school year.
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Caution Urged as Three Coronavirus Cases Emerge

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
The tennis courts on Cornishon Avenue were closed recently after the city of La Cañada Flintridge took action to reduce opportunities for coronavirus transmission following an L.A. County Department of Public Health order.

As Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials confirmed three coronavirus cases in a region including La Cañada Flintridge as of Wednesday, the city’s mayor called this a “serious and difficult time” for the community.
The region referred to by public health also includes unincorporated La Crescenta-Montrose and has a population of 40,253.
“I ask that our residents stay up to date with the recommendations to battle this virus,” Mayor Leonard Pieroni said in an email to The Outlook this week. “Adhere to the ‘safer at home’ orders from the federal, state and county leadership. We are all in this situation together. I count on our community to look out for our families, friends, and especially those that might need more help during this time. We will get through this, and I am looking forward to that.”
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L.A. County Announces Three New Deaths Related to Coronavirus

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed three new deaths and 138 new cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). All three individuals that died were over the age of 65 and had underlying health conditions.
One individual resided in Gardena, one in Wilmington and the other case is still under investigation. Additional information regarding some of the new cases is pending further investigation. Over the last 48 hours there have been 266 new cases.
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LCUSD Superintendent’s Message on Status of District

By Wendy Sinnette, Special to The Outlook

Wendy Sinnette

I hope everyone is managing during these unprecedented times as we engage with Gov. Newsom’s “Safer at Home” order and work together to flatten the curve of infection with the COVID-19 virus. I am grateful to The Outlook and Charlie Plowman for giving me the opportunity to update the larger community regarding the status of our schools in the La Cañada Unifed School District.
I have been regularly emailing district families, students in grades 7-12 and staff, but given the support that the community of La Cañada Flintridge continually demonstrates for its schools, it is important to keep everyone informed regarding district updates. Our schools closed on Friday, March 13, in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Teachers were provided two days to prepare for distance learning, which officially commenced on Tuesday, March 17. Our teachers and students have access to Google Classroom, and student textbooks and learning apps are stored in Classlink, an online centralized platform. Other resources available for distance learning opportunities are Screencastify, Google Hangouts, Zoom, YouTube and EdPuzzle. Teachers are designing lessons according to their instructional style and working hard to ensure a continuation of learning throughout the school closure period.
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Judges, Courtroom Staff, Attorneys Must Quarantine for 14 Days

Presiding Judge Kevin C. Brazile recently announced that a judge assigned to a Dependency department in the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Courthouse in Monterey Park notified the court Tuesday of being diagnosed with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Although the judge has not been tested, in an abundance of caution, the court has asked the affected judge and court staff to self-quarantine. Due to privacy issues, names will not be released.
The court also has notified the agencies and attorney offices assigned to handle the cases in the affected department, including the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services; Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers; Children’s Law Center; Office of the Los Angeles County Counsel; and the Sheriff’s Department.
After receiving notification from the judge, the court cleaned and disinfected the courtroom and the judge’s chambers according to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The courthouse, which handles adoptions and juvenile dependency, will remain open. The court will make every effort to advise all people who may have been exposed to the affected judge.
For the latest updates on coronavirus-related impacts to court operations, consult the court’s COVID-19 News Center located at the top of its homepage at lacourt.org.

Take Steps to Protect Your Mental Health in Stressful Times

By Annette Ermshar, Special to The Outlook

Annette Ermshar

The coronavirus has triggered surprising behavioral responses, including panic buying and convincing yourself that a throat tickle might mean a fatal illness. But equally concerning is the increase in mental health symptoms.
Self-isolation, loss of freedom, uncertainty and fear about what is ahead, and a change in routine and schedule are all contributing to increased stress, anxiety and feelings of helplessness.
Uncertainties can instill a deep sense of fear. They include such questions as:
What protective steps can I take?
How extreme should we be in our response?
Are increased hand-washing and avoiding crowds sufficient, or should we self-quarantine?
Should we move forward with our planned vacation?
Should I close down my office or business?
Should I cancel my spring wedding?
It is this uncertainty that drives anxiety, because people fear the unknown. When we don’t know what steps to take or we have a substantial shift in our routine, we feel vulnerable because we all like to plan ahead. Yet we are faced with significant and unpredictable disruptions to our routine and way of life. Uncertainty exceeds the medical issues at hand, and these disruptions have broader implications.
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COVID-19: Don’t Forget the Basics of Prevention

By Mary Virgallito, Special to The Outlook

Mary Virgallito

During a time of heightened anxiety and uncertainty, I’d like to take this opportunity to review what is currently known about COVID-19 and provide a refresher on the basics about preventing the spread of respiratory diseases. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 and so the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed.
How it is spread: COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses or inhaled into the lungs of people within close contact (about 6 feet) of an infected person who has produced these droplets. Surface-to-person transmission of COVID-19 has not yet been documented but current evidence suggests that the virus can remain viable for hours to days on a variety of surfaces. Therefore, it is recommended to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets and sinks. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work for this purpose.
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