In the latest COVID-19 live stream, City officials discussed where Long Beach stands as it responds to the ongoing health crisis, and how it will move forward.
On Friday, May 22, Mayor Robert Garcia was joined by Kelly Colopy from the Long Beach Health department as they provided the latest number of confirmed coronavirus cases.
According to Garcia, the City confirmed that there is a total of 1513 positive cases of the coronavirus in Long Beach.
Garcia continued by stating that out of that number, 1024 patients have currently made a full recovery from the disease.
However, the City is also reporting two additional causalities, bringing the City’s total number of deaths related to coronavirus up to 70.
The mayor also confirmed that out of these deaths, 55 have been out of long-term care facilities.
Reopening Long Beach
Garcia also discussed how the numbers have changed since the City loosened its safer-at-home guidelines two weeks ago and how Long Beach compares to the County of Los Angeles.
According to data collected since reopening two weeks ago, the City does not see a significant jump of coronavirus cases.
“Today, with all the additional active recreation and all the additional reopenings, the fact that we have generally stayed consistent is a positive sign,” Garcia said.
Despite the positive news, the mayor stated that the City is still concerned about the high number of cases in Long Beach.
The other concern is that two weeks is not long enough for health officials to gather enough data to see if loosening the restrictions has led to an increase in transmission.
However, new data shows that Long Beach is currently staying steady and doing better than the County of Los Angeles.
According to data released from the City, Long Beach is doing better than the County in the number of deaths and cases per 100k people.
However, despite the data, Long Beach still does not meet the criteria set by the County to enter the next reopening phase.
According to Kelly Colopy, the Director of Health and Human Services, and that Long Beach is not currently considered its own health jurisdiction, despite having its a health department.
The City meets some of the County’s criteria regarding testing, providing shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness, and hospital capacity.
However, the City is still has a positivity rate above 8 percent, and the City is still developing plans to provide enough Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to long-term care facilities.
“We’re working to ensure that we’re maintaining the criteria that we’ve already met and building our capacity for the others,” Colopy said.
Garcia stated that while Long Beach does not currently meet the standards set by the State to move into the next phase of reopening, the fact that Long Beach is doing better could be a strong argument in the coming weeks.
The mayor stated that the City is in talks with the County regarding this issue, but that Long Beach is not at that point yet.