In the latest live stream, City of Long Beach officials confirmed that a Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) officer tested positive for COVID-19.
“Fortunately, this police officer is recuperating self-isolating at home,” Mayor Robert Garcia said on the March 27 live stream. “I wanted to share that our thoughts, our prayers, our support are with this officer [and] with the officer’s family, friends, and of course, the entire Long Beach Police Department.”
LBPD Chief Robert Luna stated that the news felt like a “kick in the groin,” but that the police department is prepared for the situation.
“I want to tell our Long Beach community that he is doing well,” Luna said. “He is in good spirits, but like if you can imagine if you get told that you tested positive, there’s going to be some anxiety, and there’s going to be some fear, and he was no different.”
The officer, and his partner, will spend the next 14 days at home recovering from the disease but are expected to make a full recovery.
While this is the first LBPD officer diagnosed with COVID-19, but City has already seen cases in some of its first responders.
The mayor announced that 13 Long Beach firefighters have tested positive for the disease– an increase of five since Wednesday.
He confirmed that most of the firefighters were working out of Fire Station 11 in North Long Beach.
Garcia reminded viewers that even though the City releases a number of confirmed cases that it is highly likely the actual number of residents who are carrying COVID-19 is higher and asked the public for help by staying home and self-isolating.
The mayor also announced that the City would be releasing a new set of guidelines regarding beach closures that will align orders issued by Los Angeles County.
The City restricted some of its beach parking lots to Long Beach residents in an attempt to help parking-impacted neighborhoods. As of now, these parking lots are only open to residents who apply for a permit that will allow them to use public lots until the stay-at-home order is lifted.
Garcia announced that the City is going to expand this parking program and is preparing to open more beach lots downtown.
To register for a free parking permit, e-mail email@example.com for an application.
As the City works to solve the parking problem, Garcia also announced that the grace period on street-sweeping tickets would extend into next week.
“Street sweeping is going to continue, but […] we’re looking at ways of not having to cite people who can’t move their cars,” Garcia said.
In her statement, the City’s Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis, reminded viewers to stay at home or practice self-distancing when they have to leave the house.
Davis also announced that the City is offering help to seniors through a “special” resource line. The resource line is staffed Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30am to 5pm.
Older residents in quarantine will be able to reach social workers, health educators, and librarians who can help with home supplies, prescription delivery, utilities, mental health services and more.
To reach these services, call (562) 570-INFO (4636) and press option 5.
Davis also urged residents to reach out if they are anxious and that they can call the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health at (800) 854-7771 for crisis counseling and other resources.
“We are concerned about everyone’s total wellness, not just preventing COVID 19 but your mental health as well. So please take advantage of all the resources that are available,” Davis said.
Mayor Garcia also extended his thanks to the Navy for the arrival of the hospital ship, the USNS Mercy. The Navy ship will help relieve the impact on Southland hospitals by taking in patients who have not tested positive for COVID-19.