On the latest COVID-19 live-stream update, officials provided new updates about the latest number of cases of coronavirus in Long Beach, the economy and steps taken at long-term nursing facilities in the city.
On Monday, April 13, Mayor Robert Garcia announced that the City is now aware of 350 cases of COVID-19 in Long Beach.
The mayor also announced that the number of deaths due to the disease has now increased to a total of 14. Garcia stated that the age of the victims ranged between 50 through 80 years old.
He also stated that half of these cases were related to long-term care facilities across the city of Long Beach. Due to underlying conditions and living close together, seniors in medical facilities are an especially vulnerable population.
The mayor also discussed how other communities are being affected by the disease.
In the live-stream, Garcia stated that a more significant amount of African Americans are admitted to the hospital with the virus compared to other groups.
“What you [see] in Long Beach is not different than what we’re beginning to see in other larger cities across the country,” Garcia said. “And, there is no question that the percentage of hospitalization for African Americans in our community is higher than the population itself.”
The African-American population in Long Beach makes up about 13% of the city’s demographics, but hospitalizations are higher in the community.
The mayor stated that the City is working to address this and will be providing more testing soon, specifically in the African-American community.
“Every single person deserves access to equal care,” Garcia said. “And we want to make sure that all populations are treated, but it’s important for us to also […] understand the ‘whys’ of what is happening, and that is something that we will be talking about in the days ahead.”
Dr. Anissa Davis, the city’s Public Health Officer, said Long Beach is continuing to increase testing. At the rapid response unit located in the Long Beach City College parking lot, she announced that the site has seen 172 individuals and referred 41 for COVID-19 testing.
The site is averaging 60 people a day and has tested a total of 347 people since April 7.
Additionally, the Long Beach Public Health Lab has tested 454 people so far.
Davis asked residents to continue to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, and for adults to wear face masks in public.
She also reminded residents not to put masks on children younger than two, someone who has trouble breathing or anyone unconscious.
Overall, Davis told residents that the City is seeing the number of cases begin to slow and believes that the safer-at-home order is working.
“I want to thank you for the sacrifices that you’re making […] to make this safer-at-home order work,” Davis said. “[It is] working and keeping people safer.”
Mayor Garcia also discussed the extension of the “safer-at-home” order issued by the City and how it was enforced over the weekend.
On Friday, the City announced that parks in Long Beach would be closed to the public on Easter Sunday, April 12.
Easter is traditionally a busy day for the parks in Long Beach, and to promote social distancing, the City chose to close the parks to avoid crowds of people congregating.
Garcia expressed his thanks to residents who followed the health order by staying home over the holiday weekend.
“I know folks weren’t excited about closing the parks completely or are asking us to reopen our parks and beaches, but please know that these are decisions that our health department [is] always weighing [and] take very seriously,” Garcia said.
The mayor announced that even though the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) received 11 calls, officers did not issue any citations.
Mayor Garcia also announced that he, along with other mayors and Governor Gavin Newsom, are discussing how to open the economy when the health order ends.
Garcia stressed that the City is not there yet, but that officials are determining how to get people back to work when the pandemic ends.
“In Long Beach, as a city of half a million people, it is going to be very hard, and it’s going to be very difficult for us to get it right, but we’re going to get it right,” Garcia said. “We’re [are] working on it, and I want to thank you all for your cooperation on that.”
He also reminded residents that small business owners could apply for micro-loans to help with payroll or rent. For more information, click here.