By Nick Eismann
Mayor Robert Garcia appeared Monday, Nov. 23 to address the public and share new Coronavirus data amid rising cases.
“We are not just talking about a rise in cases today, but a continual steady climb,” Garcia said.
LA county has seen a massive surge in Coronavirus cases in previous weeks. On Monday, the county reported 6,124 new cases.
Garcia and other Long Beach health officials reported that COVID hospitilizations were up 248% from the last three weeks. While hospital capacity in Long Beach remains available, hospitalizations are climbing. “That is a very disturbing trend and if it does not slow down, we can be in a dangerous position in a few weeks,” Garcia said.
In Long Beach, over the past two weeks, the number of new cases has increased by more than 120% — a much steeper curve than the City saw during the summer surge.
The positivity rate is now at 5.9%, compared to 2.9% at its lowest.
The case rate is 34 per 100,000, up from a low of 6.9 per 100,000.
The City will be aligning with the County to prohibit in-person dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars beginning Wednesday, Nov. 25, for the next three weeks, at minimum, to slow the spread of transmission in Long Beach. An updated health order will be forthcoming.
Garcia touched on the closure of outdoor dining operations, expressing sympathy for those business owners and workers who will experience a “devestating loss.” Garcia and other politicians met with President elect, Joe Biden and are expecting a “significant recovery package that will allow for sufficient funding” that will go towards local businesses hit hard from this pandemic.
Garcia expressed deep concern for hospitals and testing sites and said he had previously spoken with leaders from two area hospitals who shared a mutal concern of the rising cases as well as what the numbers may look like after the holidays. The hospital leaders reported a rise in admissions within children, pregnant women, and younger people. He stressed the importance of keeping beds and space within the hospital available for those who will need it.
Long Beach hospitals are currently sitting at 60% capacity with both COVID and non COVID related issues.
Long Beach, in the height of the pandemic, was conducting 1,900 tests a day. On Friday, they conducted 2,500 tests around the city. The most in one day since they began testing. Garcia and public health officials fear that if this rising trend of testing continues, testing resources may be strained.
For more information about Coronavirus please visit Long Beach.gov/covid19 or call (562) 570-INFO (4636)