Chula Vista City Council Member Steve Padilla, who was admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 treatment March 19, is slowly showing progress, according to his daughter.
Padilla announced he tested positive for COVID-19 March 15 and was on a ventilator in the ICU within days.
The councilman's daughter said he is still on a ventilator Wednesday, "but he is now in stable condition and his doctors are reporting slow, steady progress in overcoming COVID-19."
Padilla is one of nearly 300 San Diego County residents diagnosed with the disease as of March 25. Health officials said the actual number of infected people could be ten times as much, because not everyone needs to be tested.
Padilla's daughter released the following statement when he was first admitted to the hospital.
“After experiencing worsening symptoms, Steve Padilla was admitted to UCSD Thornton Hospital ICU where he is receiving additional treatment, including a respirator to aid with difficulty breathing associated with COVID-19.
I know his amazing doctors and nurses are doing everything they can to send him home healthy when this is all over. My father asked me to pass on a message: Everyone needs to take COVID-19 seriously. Please follow the advice of our public health professionals to reduce the spread of the virus and take precautions to keep your families and our community safe.”
Padilla was the first patient reported among government representatives in San Diego County.
He said he was in close coordination with County Public Health officials who were taking all precautions to ensure the health of the people he has been in contact with.
"My friends and family have been informed and are taking the necessary steps—but it’s my duty to be transparent for the entire community," Padilla said. "I must be mindful of all I’ve come in contact with, in my service as your Councilman and Coastal Commissioner."
Padilla wanted to remind the public to keep a safe distance, wash their hands and look out for those most at risk.
It was not clear whether Padilla knew how he contracted COVID-19.
Padilla serves as the local representative for Chula Vista's third district and on the California Coastal Commission.
For more details on the new coronavirus in San Diego County and what is affected by the outbreak locally, including how many cases have been reported, click here.