During the April 1 live-stream, Mayor Robert Garcia talked about how the City will work with farmer’s markets to ensure safety standards, the second coronavirus-related death, and the census.
During the live-stream, the mayor explained how the City is moving forward regarding farmer’s markets and pop-up shops, who have begun selling fresh produce and other food items since the beginning of the stay-at-home order.
On Tuesday, March 31, Los Angeles Mayor, Robert Garcetti, suspended all Farmers Markets until they show that the markets could adequately enforce the social-distancing standard of six feet.
Garcia told viewers that the City of Long Beach has a city health department and is not required to follow the suspension issued by the City of Los Angeles. He also mentioned that while the City does try to align its health regulations with Los Angeles, he believes that the markets in Long Beach are providing a valuable service and maintaining the need for social distance.
“We know that our farmer’s markets right now are outside [and that] they are practicing physical dispensing,” Garcia said. “I think every day that they operate, they’re getting better and better with the rules [and] help people buy fresh foods. We know they’re an important access point for fresh foods.”
For now, the mayor says that the City is working with the markets and local restaurants to try to keep them open while maintaining proper social distancing procedures.
Long Beach city officials announced the second death due to COVID-19, along with more positive cases.
Mayor Robert Garcia stated that a woman in her 60s has died due to the disease combined with other health issues.
Additionally, the mayor shared that the City is now reporting 139 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Long Beach.
However, Garcia also announced that some of the individuals who tested positive are now on their way to recovery.
“This number is, is not a completely accurate count, but we […] know that about 35-40 of these individuals have recovered from COVID-19 [and] believed to have had a full recovery,” Garcia said. “That number fluctuates, but that is a positive sign some folks are getting past those positive cases.”
Despite the good news, Garcia also stated that an additional three Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) firefighters tested positive for the disease– bringing the total 18.
This is a serious and high number for the Long Beach Fire Department,” Garcia said.
Officials believe that the source of the infection was Station 11 in North Long Beach. The station building has since been cleaned and sanitized.
The mayor confirmed that the firefighters are currently self-isolating and quarantined at home, and are doing well. He also stated that since one of the confirmed cases was a Long Beach resident, it will count as one of the 139 confirmed cases in Long Beach.
Garcia also announced that two of the new cases involve seniors at two separate senior care nursing facilities.
“This is something that is really critical for us because we know when a senior is in a facility and in close contact with other seniors there’s [not only] a high possibility for serious transmission, but also that we have a vulnerable population,” Garcia said.
He also stated that the City is changing the official stay-at-home mandate to require residents who test positive with COVID-19 to quarantine at home.
“This is something that we also have […] been asking, in the past, but now it’s going to be part of the health official health order, the mayor said.”
The change to the official health order will go into effect at midnight, April 2.
Moving away from the coronavirus, Mayor Garcia asked Long Beach residents to remember to take part in the 2020 census.
“The 2020 census, believe it or not, it’s critical to the future of the city,” Garcia said.
The mayor stated that the census impacts the amount of federal funding that Long Beach receives for healthcare, education and other programs that the City offers.
“So, the census is more important today because of this health crisis than it ever has been before,” he continued.
To take part in the census visit: my2020census.gov or fill out the questionnaire in the mail.