The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (LBDHH) is paying special attention to coronavirus cases among residents and staff at 11 local long-term care facilities, according to a statement from City officials May 1.
Cumulatively, the City has confirmed 210 positive cases of coronavirus so far in 18 of the city’s 93 long-term care facilities, according to the statement.
Long-term care facilities have also reported 30 deaths so far related to the virus, according to the statement, comprising 83% of the city’s 36 total deaths to date.
Seven of the 18 facilities affected– including Bixby Knolls Towers at 3737 Atlantic Ave.– have reported no new cases in the past 14 days, which is the standard coronavirus incubation period. However, that facility did experience one death from among seven staff members and two residents who became infected.
According to its website, Bixby Knolls Towers has barred non-essential outside visitors since the end of March. The facility did not return a request for comment as of press time.
Of the 11 facilities with active cases, five have more than 25 total cases confirmed between staff and residents. Altogether, LBDHH reports 89 confirmed cases among staff and 121 among residents.[aesop_image img=”https://signaltribunenewspaper.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Long-term-care-facilities-2.png” panorama=”off” credit=”Courtesy City of Long Beach” align=”center” lightbox=”on” captionsrc=”custom” caption=”Long Beach long-term care facility COVID-19 data as of May 1, as compiled by the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services” captionposition=”left” revealfx=”off” overlay_revealfx=”off”]
Statewide, the death rate in long-term care facilities is disproportionally higher than in the general population. Long-term care facility cases comprised 14% of the California total as of April 29, but 34% of its deaths, according to KFF, a nonprofit firm tracking the state’s COVID-19 data.
Across the country, COVID-19 has also disproportionately affected the 2.2 million people who live in nursing homes or other care facilities and the 3 million who work in them, according to an April 23 KFF report. In some states, nearly half of those infected have succumbed to the virus.
“Individuals that reside in long-term care facilities are among the most vulnerable in the US to this virus, given occupation density of these facilities and residents’ underlying poor health,” KFF’s report states. “Many residents do not have a private home or family to return to during outbreaks, making it important to consider what types of actions policymakers can take to protect these populations.”
Age has been heavily correlated with COVID-19 mortality rates in Long Beach, according to data in the City’s statement. Of the 36 who have died, 23 were over 80 years old, three were in their 70s, seven in their 60s and three in their 50s.
Regardless of age, the City plans to continue protecting everyone as it begins Stage 2 of Governor Newsom’s reopening plan this Friday, allowing lower-risk workplaces to resume business, Mayor Robert Garcia said in his May 6 COVID-19 update.
“With each step forward, we will need to evaluate at least a few weeks of data to make sure hospitalizations remain stable,” Garcia said. “[And] vulnerable populations remain protected.”