By Ken Stone
Padilla is expected to oversee the agency’s first virtual meeting this week.
Padilla likely contracted the illness in March and, before showing symptoms, attended the commission hearing in Santa Cruz.
No other commissioner or agency staff reportedly came down with the virus. The April meeting was canceled and commission district offices have been open only virtually in an effort to protect public health, the agency said Tuesday.
“The setting may look a little different at this week’s hearing, but have no doubt: the Coastal Commission remains open and will continue to protect the California coast as we have for more than 40 years,” Padilla said in a statement. “It’s also heartening to see the California coast gradually reopening this week, so please get out and enjoy it – 6 feet apart.”
The meeting will be held Wednesday and Thursday through video and teleconference and will be live-streamed. Commissioners will use Zoom from their homes across the California coast.
While the Coastal Commission will accept a request to speak the day of a hearing item, the agency strongly encourages speakers to submit their requests by 5 p.m. the day before the hearing item.
“The commission asks for patience and cooperation as the agency’s transitions to video and teleconferencing,” said a news release. “The agency is working hard to correct any technical issues and human error that arise.”
In late March, Padilla was on a ventilator in a hospital ICU.
“My dad is a fighter, and he’s fighting through this — with the help of amazing doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who are caring for him,” his daughter Ashleigh said at the time. “We’re hopeful that he’s reached a turning point and will be home soon.”
He had recently traveled through the San Jose airport, where multiple Transportation Security Administration agents had tested positive for the coronavirus.
In early April, he praised the medical team at UC San Diego Medical Center as “true heros” for saving his life.
“Take it from me: the threat of coronavirus is as serious as it is real,” he said. “We all need to stay home, and follow county public health guidelines to stop the spread and save lives that are at risk.”
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