City announces 1305 positive cases of coronavirus in Long Beach

In the latest COVID-19 update, City officials discussed the newest number of positive cases, the next steps to opening salons, and a new food delivery program. 

COVID-19
On Monday, May 18, Mayor Robert Garcia announced that the City is reporting 1305 positive cases of coronavirus in Long Beach. 

In these cases, Garcia states that 63 people are hospitalized, but that 848 of the positive cases have recovered from the disease. 

He also announced that another person has died from the disease– bringing the total number of deaths to 52. 

The majority of the cases continue to come out of long-term care facilities, where elderly patients are more likely to suffer from underlying conditions. 

Reopening
After its second weekend of loosened restrictions, Mayor Garcia stated that Long Beach residents seem to be following the guidelines established by the City. 

Two weeks ago, the City partially lifted restrictions on small retailers, and parks and beaches.  

At this time, the mayor stated that the safer-at-home order might return if the public did not follow social-distancing guidelines.

“This Friday will be […] 14 days since the relaxing of the safer at home orders, where we began opening up the recreation and the retail,” Garcia said. 

“And so, we’re going to get a good picture toward the end of this week […] of how we’ve been doing and what the impact of these reopens has had on the city.”

Garcia also discussed the new guidelines Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that would allow individual counties to reopen faster if they meet specific criteria. 

The mayor stated that Long Beach does not currently meet this standard is reopening at the pace allowed by the State of California. 

“I think it’s important to be honest and straightforward with where we’re at,” Garcia said. “And we’re not there yet.  

“We don’t even […] the data within our own health jurisdiction to know yet if that’s even possible because we still have this week to go and look at some of that data.”

To begin reopening, Garcia did say that Newsom’s new guidelines will begin to start allowing salons and barbershops. 

The City will be hosting meetings with owners of these shops to begin discussing how to reopen grooming businesses safely. 

The Long Beach City Council will also discuss its new “Open Street” initiative, which would reopen some streets and parking lots to the public. 

Under this initiative, restaurants would also be allowed to offer outdoor dining to residents with proper social-distancing.

Great Plates
Mayor Garcia announced that restaurants could apply to be a part of the City’s new meal program, “Great Plates,” which delivers meals to seniors in Long Beach. 

The program offers three meals a day to seniors and older adults, which the City delivers. 

 Anyone who may be interested can send an email to greatplateslb@longbeach.gov for more information. The application process will take place from May 18 to May 21. 

“We’ve also emailed the information out to restaurants, and we’re looking for restaurants that are locally owned or locally sourced, prioritize local jobs and worker retention and provide meals that meet nutritional standards,” Garcia said. 

Warmer Weather
In her comments, Dr. Anissa Davis, the City Health Official, stated that officials are still not sure how the warmer weather affects the coronavirus. 

In some viruses, like the flu, colder weather can help the disease spread, which is why there is a cold season. 

“There’s been a lot of debate whether the risk of COVID-19 transmission will decrease as the weather warms up, or as summer comes,” Davis said. “However, at this time. There’s not enough evidence to say whether this is true or not.”

Davis told residents to prepare for COVID-19 to continue throughout the summer and fall, and to continue to wash hands, social-distance and wear face masks. 

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