Culver City sees first death in coronavirus pandemic

The deceased had preexisting conditions and was over the age of 65, a release from the LA Public Health Department revealed on Sunday

A resident of Culver City has died after contracting COVID-19 from the novel coronavirus, the county of Los Angeles Department of Public Health announced Sunday. The death marked the first COVID-19 fatality in Culver City, with the current confirmed infection count in the city at four. According to the release by the county, the person who succumbed to the illness was over the age of 65, and suffered from preexisting conditions.

Several members of city council expressed their condolences on social media, and emphasized the importance of following guidelines set by Culver City and Los Angeles.

“My heart goes out to the family and friends of the Culver City resident who just passed away from #COVID19.” Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells wrote on Twitter Sunday night. “This is a sad day, and a reminder how we must all come together as a community to take this threat seriously [and] do our part to stop the spread.”

“Very sad to hear about the first death due to #COVID19 in Culver City,” councilmember Daniel Lee started in his Twitter post Sunday night. “Please take all of the orders and suggested precautionary restrictions seriously. Especially, if you are in a sensitive group.” Both tweets included links to the county news release.

As of Tuesday, there are seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Culver City.

Culver City enacted a “Safer at Home” order Friday, which asks residents to only leave their homes only when necessary. Reasons provided in the order include:

— Going to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store

— Going to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities

— Going to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)

— Going to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru

— Caring or support a friend or family member

— Taking a walk, riding your bike, hiking, jogging and being in nature for exercise; just keep at least six feet between you and others in the community. 

— Walking your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary

— Helping someone to get necessary supplies

The order will be in place until April 19, and is subject to extension. It mirrors the City of Los Angeles’s “Safer at Home” public order issued on March 19. 

The city also continues to create new guidelines as the situation progresses, including an enforcement of social distancing between people at essential businesses, though this does not apply to family members and those who live in the same household.

 In addition to the acknowledgment of the COVID-19 related death in Culver City, the Monday release included changes to the Culver City Dial-S-Ride program. 

The service will only be available for essential travel, which includes grocery shopping and medical appointments as outlined in the “Safer at Home” order. All other requests will be declined at this time.

The Culver City Senior Center will be closed, but the city released the following guidelines for those who are worried about their meals.

— For registered Congregate Nutrition Meal patrons under the age of 65 and those who are 65+ who have a family member, friend, neighbor or caregiver under the age of 65 who can pick-up the meal please use our drive-up service located in the Senior Center parking lot Mondays and Wednesdays between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

— For registered nutrition patrons ages 65+ who do not have anyone to pick up their meals, the City will deliver frozen meals on Mondays and Wednesdays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

— For existing Home Delivered Meal clients will continue to be served on Mondays and Wednesdays.

The city also announced updates to policies regarding parks, recreation, and sports ares and apparatuses on Tuesday. Areas in parks where social distancing was considered unreasonable are closed until further notice as of the release of this announcement, and includes but is not limited to playgrounds, fitness (parcourse) equipment areas, basketball courts, baseball/soccer/multi-use fields, handball courts, and tennis/paddle tennis courts. 

The Boneyard dog park will also be closed to the public, as well as the Culver City Municipal Skate Park and the Culver City Plunge, which is currently undergoing annual maintanance.

Parks will be considered outdoor-only facilities open from dawn until dusk, except for restrooms, which will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. or later, depending on the park. Park buildings and indoor facilities are closed to the public including indoor gymnasiums, computer labs, multi-purpose rooms, and classrooms. Group gatherings of all sizes are also prohibited until further notice.

The Tuesday release also seperately announced the closure of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook parking lots, as ordered by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. This includes the lots at the top of Hetzler Road and the lot at Jefferson Boulevard. The city has also closed down adjacent street parking on Jefferson, and urges that residents avoid the Culver City Stairs and State Park until further notice.

Reprieves to property taxes from the County of Los Angeles to alleviate the economic fallout of the pandemic were also announced Tuesday. While the April 10, deadline for property tax payments will not be extended, tax payers unable to remit their taxes on time for reasons related to COVID-19 will be able to submit a request for a penalty cancellation starting April 11. That request will be considered by a special team.

The city has also emphasized a need for volunteers to assist neighbors, particularly those who are 65 and older or who do not wish to risk infection making trips for essentials due to underlying and preexisting medical conditions that may put them at risk of serious complications from a COVID-19 infection. 

If you need a volunteer or would like to help volunteer, email the city at, or call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 310-253-6890. The hotline will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

If you email or leave a message at the hotline after hours, the city asks that you include your name, phone number, email address, and any special skills you may have (language, equipment, certifications, etc.) and preferred volunteer activity (deliver groceries to older adults, make phone calls, etc.).

For those who may know someone who may need assistance, the city encourages people to reach out to their neighbors in a manner that observes social distancing, and have created a flier for potential volunteers to use to reach out to their neighbors. This flier can be found on the Tuesday Citywide Coronavirus Update.

To stay updated on the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, visit the Culver City coronavirus webpage.