West Covina is a thriving community of over 100,000. West Covina is a locale with a significant population of families with school-age children. Indeed, the City of West Covina has developed a close partnership with the West Covina Unified School District to develop more programming to benefit school-age children. This programming is designed to enhance the overall wellbeing of kids in the city.

More information on joint programming for kids, as well as other resources available through the city, can be accessed here:

City of West Covina
1444 West Garvey Avenue South
West Covina, California 91790
(626) 939-8400


The joint programming efforts for kids in West Covina is also available through the school district here:

West Covina Unified School District

1717 W. Merced Avenue
West Covina, California 91790
(626) 939-4600

Although the vast majority of what goes on in West Covina is positive and even exciting, there have been challenging situations – as is the case with an urban area. In West Covina, there was one particular case involving a rat of the human kind and rats of the rodent derivation.

Rats in West Covina

The City of West Covina has been aggressive in combating rat infestation in the city since a notorious case came to the public attention and remains etched in the minds of many people since the situation ended up in the municipal court.

A West Covina resident named Sang In Kim owned a three-story hotel. The Hotel had 39 units and was primarily used by people who stayed in a room for a more extended period of time.

Complaints were reported about the conditions at the hotel. Ultimately, various violations were noted at the hotel. These included violations of both the health and safety codes. These included:

  • Broken windows
  • Only one working toilet in the building
  • Exposed wires
  • Rat infestation and rat droppings

Ultimately, Kim was ordered to pay almost $2,000 in restitution to reimburse the costs associated with the investigation. In addition, Kim was ordered to spend two months doing highway cleanup work. He was also prohibited from owning or managing residential real estate for a period of time.

In rendering this decision, the Municipal Court noted that Kim exposed people to significant dangers in the hotel. These included serious hazards associated with rat infestation and rat droppings.

While Kim was being prosecuted for the safety and health violations, he sold the hotel.

Why Rats?

In the prosecution of Kim for safety and health violations at the hotel, some West Covina residents asked why were rats such a major issue. They recognized that rats were bothersome. However, many people in West Covina failed to understand how dangerous rat droppings were to the health and welfare of people in West Covina and elsewhere.

The fact is that rat droppings can contain highly dangerous pathogens. These can result in serious diseases. One of the most hazardous pathogens that can be found in rat droppings is the hantavirus. Exposure to hantavirus can result in serious and even fatal illnesses.

Another reality associated with rat droppings is that if you don’t use a proper cleanup technique, you actually can make the situation more hazardous. For example, sweeping up rat droppings can make pathogens airborne. You and others can breathe them in and become infected with some type of dangerous virus. Professional biohazard cleanup is needed to safely and thoroughly undertake rat droppings cleanup.

Report Safety and Health Hazards in West Covina

If you encounter a situation in which you think a safety or health hazards exist, you need to contact the West Covina Police Department (using the administrative, and not emergency phone number. Code enforcement is under the jurisdiction of the police department. West Covina code enforcement contact information:

1444 West Garvey Avenue
West Covina, California 91790
(626) 939-8500

The one exception to using the administrative number provided here as opposed to 911 is if a true emergency exists and people are in immediate danger of injury. In such a situation, using the 911 emergency number is appropriate.

Testing After Exposure to Rat Droppings

If you think that you have been exposed to rat droppings, you need to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. If that is not possible for one reason or another, you should contact the West Covina Health Department. No matter who you elect to set an appointment with, you should be as proactive as possible in seeking medical attention in this regard. The office is associated with the county health department and is located at:

West Covina Health Department
1435 West Covina Parkway
West Covina, California 91790
(626) 813-3380



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