Update April 3


April 3


Asthma and COVID-19

Some CVW readers have sent in questions concerning COVID-19. When we get your questions we reach out to specialists to get the answers. Below is an answer to a question on what those who have asthma should do during this pandemic.

COVID-19 is a new virus therefore there is still data being collected.

“There’s a lot we don’t know about COVID-19 or how it affects asthma patients. However we know that respiratory virus, including the ‘common’ strains of coronavirus, can cause asthma exacerbations. So, in the absence of data, common sense tells us that it’s important for patients with asthma to continue their usual controller medications to keep their asthma under good control. These usually include inhaled corticosteroids. These are different from oral or systemic corticosteroids and are not thought to suppress the immune system or make individuals more likely to become infected with respiratory viruses,” said Cindy Xi, M.D. at Keck USC, board-certified in allergy and immunology.

Xi suggests that at the onset of respiratory symptoms asthma patients should use the “yellow zone” of their asthma action plan, if they have one, and contact their healthcare provider to see if additional treatment is required.

There had been some questions as to whether those asthma patients should use their handled inhalers or nebulizers. A nebulizer is often prescribed to those who have been diagnosed with asthma. A nebulizer is a machine that turns liquid medicine into a fine mist that the patient can inhale through a facemask or mouthpiece. The medicine is put directly into the patient’s lungs.

“The concern about nebulizers is that if they are used by a patient with a respiratory infection, they are capable of aerosolizing droplets containing the virus and therefore allowing the virus to spread more easily to others. [Many] hospitals and other facilities are therefore not using nebulizers to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses,” she said.

However, if an asthma patient is using the nebulizer at home and can isolate themselves from other individuals in the home, and netbulized therapy is more effective than handheld inhalers, Dr. Xi then suggests the nebulizer continue to be used.

“Asthma care is individualized, and I recommend that individuals with asthma check in with their healthcare providers to make sure they are utilizing daily controller medications correctly, have sufficient supply of medications and have a plan in place in case asthma symptoms worsen,” she added.

Making Masks

Quilt ‘n’ Things Fiber Arts, a sewing studio and shop that’s been in the Glendale/La Crescenta area since 1984, is getting involved in the effort to make and provide home-sewn facemasks to the community.

They are offering the following resources:

  • A limited supply of free facemask making kits that include enough fabric and elastic to make three protective masks
  • Masks and kits for sale are made with high quality/high thread count quilting cotton and others with pesticide-free, organic quilting cotton
  • Help in connecting individuals with organizations that are disseminating masks to those in need

While Quilt ‘n’ Things Fiber Arts has an Etsy Shop (QuiltnThingsShop) for online sales and is still offering drop-off/pick-up Longarm quilting service, it’s not enough to sustain a brick and mortar studio/shop. Since [LA Mayor] Eric Garcetti’s office is asking individuals to wear protective masks when they need to leave their homes, there’s an incredible need for home sewn masks and supplies to make these.

Owner Lana Norton is not only responding to the need to provide masks and mask-making merchandise but to provide income for her business since the shop has temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. This studio/shop is trying to stay helpful and viable until it can open its doors again.

For more information, visit the website at www.quiltnthings.com, send an email to qntfiberarts@gmail.com or visit the Etsy store at QuiltnThingsShop.

LACoFD Launches New Tele-medicine Program

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles County Fire Dept. has launched a new tele-medicine program. This allows firefighters and paramedics to assist mildly-ill patients by having an advanced provider (nurse practitioner or nurse) evaluate patients via video (with the option to use three-way video with an emergency physician, as needed), preventing unneeded trips to the emergency room. The program connects patients who do not require emergency care with a provider who can assess the patient’s condition, provide a treatment plan, and even call in prescriptions to support the treatment plan. To date the program has diverted many patients who otherwise would have gone to an emergency department, keeping those beds available for those who really need them.

 I-5 Corridor Improvements, Ventura (134) to Buena Vista Street

A long-term closure is in effect on Burbank Boulevard at the I-5 freeway bridge. Detours are provided. Dept. of Transportation crews will be demolishing the bridge from April 25 to April 27. At that time all traffic in both directions will be closed for 36 hours. Although the schedule is subject to change/weather-permitting, at present the information below is the most up-to-date information as of April 3:

Work will occur during daytime hours unless otherwise noted.

SR-134 to Magnolia Boulevard 

Providencia Avenue: Crews are installing fence barriers on the pedestrian bridge.

I-5 between SR-134 and Magnolia Boulevard: Crews are installing joint seals and the irrigation system. Some of this work occurs at night. 

Magnolia Boulevard to Buena Vista Street

I-5 at Burbank Boulevard: Crews are constructing retaining walls and barriers, paving the southbound I-5 off-ramp, removing material on the Burbank Boulevard bridge and placing CIDH (cast in drilled holes) piles. A crushing plant is recycling material from the roadway. Some of this work may occur at night and during the day. 

I-5 at Empire Avenue: Crews are paving in the median.

More Closures in the Angeles National Forest

In alignment with current federal, state, and local guidance for social distancing and to ensure health safety of its visitors, volunteers and employees, the Angeles National Forest will temporarily shut down portions of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and Los Angeles Gateway Ranger District, effective April 3 through July 1, 2020.

The closure includes four formal trailheads and 23 informal trail access points, resulting in a larger closure of 23 trails and 19 roads. In total, this results in closure of 81.5 miles of trail (out of 760 open miles) and 54.5 miles of road. The closure does not close the ability to walk on to National Forest System land but does restrict access to roughly 40,000 out of 700,000 acres of the Angeles.

To review the Forest Order, maps of the affected areas, and full press release that identifies all areas, visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/angeles/.