Chula Vista councilman who contracted COVID-19 making 'steady progress'; remains on a ventilator

Steve Padilla
Posted at 6:52 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 23:43:42-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Chula Vista City Councilman Steve Padilla remains hospitalized on a ventilator but is now in stable condition, according to a family statement issued Wednesday.

Padilla, who represents Chula Vista's District 3, was admitted at UCSD Thornton Hospital ICU last Thursday after experiencing difficulty breathing associated with COVID-19. The family said he required a respirator.

“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," said the councilman's daughter Ashleigh Padilla in a statement Wednesday night.

"We’re hopeful that he’s reached a turning point and will be home soon," she said.

No further details about his condition were given at this time.

“I know he cannot wait to get back to serving the people and helping our entire community get through these tough times," his daughter said.

Padilla told his constituents in a Facebook video post published March 14 that he had contracted the coronavirus. He appeared to be in good spirits as he told viewers that he was doing "very well" and "feeling well."

"After recently experiencing symptoms, I was diagnosed as being positive for the COVID-19 virus, also known as the coronavirus," he said last Saturday.

In a follow up statement that night, Padilla described having a fever, body aches, headaches, chills, that "came on very rapidly." He noted he had come into contact with friends, colleagues, and the public over the last week.

"I’m in close coordination with County Public Health officials who are taking all precautions to ensure the health of people I’ve been in contact with," he said.

Padilla issued a warning to the public through his daughter last Thursday: “Everyone needs to take COVID-19 seriously. Please follow the advice of our public health professionals to reduce spread of the virus and take precautions to keep your families and our community safe," said Ashleigh Padilla.

Padilla previously served as Mayor of Chula Vista from 2002-2006, and is a former officer and detective with the Chula Vista Police Department.

On the Chula Vista city website, Padilla is noted for being the first person of color ever elected to City office in Chula Vista history, the first Latino Mayor, and the first openly LGBT person to serve or be elected to city office.