Modifications put in place in alignment with state’s Regional Stay at Home Order
To further protect against the spread of COVID-19, in the midst of an unprecedented increase in cases which continues to impact hospital capacity, the Department of Health and Human Services will issue an updated Health Order tonight that prohibits or limits most non-essential activities, in alignment with the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order. The changes are effective at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6.
Following the alarming increase in COVID-19 transmission and its strain on Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospital capacity, on Dec. 3 Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that the state would be divided into five regions for monitoring ICU bed capacity moving forward. When a region’s ICU capacity falls below 15%, the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order must be in place for at least three weeks. The Southern California region, which includes Long Beach, reached this threshold yesterday, when the regional ICU bed capacity dropped to 12.5%. The capacity has dropped even further, to 10.3%, as of today.
The order is focused on eliminating gatherings by people from separate households and encouraging people to stay home except as necessary to conduct activities associated with the operation, maintenance or usage of critical businesses, critical infrastructure and healthcare operations; as required by law; to conduct permitted activities; or as specifically permitted in the City Health Order. Gatherings of individuals from different households pose a significant risk of virus transmission to the community. The greater the number of people from different households in a gathering, the greater the risk of the spread of COVID-19.
An overview of the new Health Order is below.
Allowed Activities and Sectors
Outdoor recreation is allowed with modifications to limit the spread of COVID-19, including wearing a face covering at all times unless exempt, maintaining physical distancing of at least six feet from those outside one’s household and frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Outdoor recreation includes:
- Engaging in active outdoor recreation and personal exercise (including outdoor activities with pets) alone or with members of a single household, such as walking, cycling, hiking running
- Tennis and pickleball
- Gyms, for outdoor activity only
- Beaches and parks for active recreation
- Golf, as long as golf carts are only shared by members of the same household
- Outdoor and indoor pools that serve members from more than one household are closed, except for outdoor pools that offer regulated lap swimming (one swimmer per lane). Drowning prevention classes, including swim lessons with certified instructors, are permitted indoors and outdoors.
- Youth sports, for conditioning and skill building, alone or with members of one’s household. Individual lessons (one coach, one participant) are allowed so long as masking and physical distancing can be maintained through the entire lesson.
The following sectors may remain open, when a remote option is not possible, as long as appropriate safety measures, including wearing a face covering and practicing physical distancing, are adhered to at all times:
- Critical infrastructure
- Schools that previously received a waiver
- Non-urgent medical and dental care
- Child care
Prohibited Activities and Sectors
- Indoor and outdoor dining (drive-thru, takeout and delivery are allowed)
- Personal care services, which includes nail salons, tanning salons, esthetician, skin care and cosmetology services; electrology; body art professionals, tattoo parlors, microblading and permanent make-up and piercing shops; and massage therapy (in non-healthcare setting)
- Hair salons and barbershops
- Museums, zoos and aquariums (indoor and outdoor)
- Playgrounds (indoor and outdoor)
- Bars, breweries, wineries and distilleries for in-person service. Production, distribution and retail for curbside, doorside or other outdoor pickup and delivery is permitted.
- Family entertainment centers
- Limited services, which includes businesses that provide grooming, walking or training services for animals/pets; car washes; and residential cleanings
- In-person events that encourage gathering of people from multiple households, such as caroling, tree lighting, and holiday picture opportunities
Limitations on Capacity
- Grocery stores are limited to 20% capacity. This includes certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, warehouse stores and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruit and vegetables, animal/pet supplies, water, fresh meats, fish and poultry, and any other business where the primary function of the business is to sell household consumer products (such as cleaning products or personal care products).
All other retail, whether indoors or outdoors, is limited to 20% capacity
- Holiday markets remain permitted as retail, limited to 20% of maximum capacity
- Residents should avoid non-essential travel that requires the resident to travel more than two hours from their residence or to other states or countries. Avoiding travel can reduce the risk of virus transmission and bringing the virus back into the city, county, region and state.
- Hotels and lodgings, including short-term rentals, are open only for essential travel.
Gatherings with people outside of one’s household are prohibited, and drive-through events, including parades, are discouraged. The 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew put into effect on Nov. 21 is still in effect.
The City of Long Beach continues to closely monitor local data. In Long Beach, since Nov. 1, the number of new cases has increased by more than 320%. Yesterday, the City reported 525 new COVID-19 cases, the highest number reported in a single day since the pandemic began. Area hospitalizations for COVID-19 are now at 163 patients, an increase of 462% since Nov. 1. These data do not yet include the expected impacts from the Thanksgiving holiday.
The State announced that limited numbers of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available for Californians within the next two weeks, a promising hope as cases continue to rise at an alarming rate. Staying home remains the best way for people to protect themselves and others from the virus. Per the City’s health order, residents are required to wear face coverings, refrain from gathering with people outside of their household, practice physical distancing and wash hands frequently. Residents also are strongly encouraged to get flu shots to help maintain the health and safety of the community.
This action was put in place by the City Health Officer, Dr. Anissa Davis, and in accordance with the Emergency Powers granted to the City Manager through the Proclamation of Local Emergency. It is effective from 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 6, until it is extended, rescinded or amended in writing by the Health Officer. Additional changes to the Regional Stay at Home Order could soon be announced by the State, after which the City will address any further potential changes.
The City recognizes that this is an extremely challenging time for residents and the community. The Governor’s office announced new assistance for people in need of financial support available online at covid19.ca.gov/get-financial-help/. Additional resources and information for businesses are available at business.ca.gov/ and Long Beach-based businesses with questions regarding the new protocols or seeking support may call the City of Long Beach’s Business Information Line between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays at 562.570.4BIZ. Residents with questions may call the City’s Information Line at 562.570.INFO between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., weekdays.
For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep our residents safe, visit longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.