In the most recent COVID-19 live stream, city officials provided updates on the latest number of coronavirus cases, and more information on testing in Long Beach.
On Monday, April 20, Mayor Robert Garcia announced that the City is currently reporting 464 positive cases of coronavirus in Long Beach.
Garcia also announced four additional deaths– bringing the total to 24.
“I do want to again remind folks that every single one of those lives is really critical. Our prayers [and] our hearts go out to the families [and] to the medical personnel,” Garcia said. “The way to help people who continue to save lives is to follow our health orders and to have folks, please stay home.”
On a more positive note, the mayor announced that out of the 464 positive cases, 266 patients have recovered from the disease.
He also touted the City’s actions to increase testing for residents.
At the end of last week, the mayor announced that the City had added three testing sites across Long Beach. Garcia stated that the new sites allow medical personnel to test over 500 people a day.
Additionally, the mayor announced a new division inside of the Long Beach Fire Department (LBFD) with the sole task of transporting individuals who may carry the coronavirus.
“It’s a way to have specialized trained fire units in a way that limits exposure of folks and patients that may have COVID-19,” Garcia said. “So, it protects our paramedics or firefighters, the public, and of course, our hospitals and health department as well.
Garcia also stated that these units receive specialized training and wear special gear when transporting patients.
In her comments, Dr. Anissa Davis, the Public Health Officer, stated the health professionals are currently tracking the possible treatments to fight COVID-19.
One of the ways involves convalescent blood from patients who had tested positive for the disease and can be used on patients who have severe or life-threatening symptoms.
According to Davis, patients who have fully recovered from the coronavirus have antibodies in their blood that fight the disease.
“Additionally, learning more about the use of convalescent plasma now will help us be better prepared if the second wave of the disease occurs– as has happened with past viral outbreaks,” Davis said.
Davis asked anyone who may have recovered from the coronavirus to consider donating to Red Cross by visiting their website redcrossblood.org to learn more.
Garcia also stated that the City is also waiting for more information regarding an antibody test is being conducted by the Los Angeles Health Department and the University of Southern California, but that it could take time.
When asked about the recent protests, Mayor Garcia acknowledged that he is aware of online discussion regarding a demonstration in one of Long Beach parks.
Garcia stated that while he supports the first amendment, the City will enforce the health order that it has put out regarding social distancing.
He also stated that he believes most people understand the necessity of self-quarantining but asked anyone to think of protesting to think of the medical staff and sick.
“I would ask people to be compassionate and think of others […] and not take actions that are quite frankly, in my opinion, are short-sighted and dangerous,” Garcia said.