At the same time, men are roughly twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than women, even though case rates of the virus are roughly the same, health officials said.
The city is looking to open up eligibility for a COVID-19 vaccine to everyone over 16 very soon, possibly earlier than the April 15 deadline set by the state, he said.
City officials on Thursday said they will allow limited indoor dining at restaurants once Los Angeles County qualifies for the “red” tier in the state system for determining the danger posed by COVID-19, which could happen in a matter of days.
March 2020 in Long Beach quickly turned into the busiest, scariest and most frantic month in memory. Doors slammed everywhere with COVID-caused closures and cancellations. The balance of the month, as winter turned into spring, looked something like this.
On Tuesday, the state reported an adjusted case rate for the county of 7.2 cases per 100,000 residents; that number must fall below 7 in order to move to a less-restrictive tier.
While the city has won wide praise for its aggressive vaccination program, its vaccination decisions also have led to accusations of politicking, favoritism and exclusion of groups who play a big part in the city’s ability to function.
The Long Beach Health Department has already allowed dockworkers to book roughly 1,000 appointments for the vaccine, putting them in a rare class of professions like teachers, firefighters and health care workers with access to the shots.
The decision announced this week to wait to open elementary campuses comes as the city, along with other health departments across the country, is struggling to secure enough vaccine for those whom scientists have deemed most vulnerable.
Long Beach has now given roughly 60,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents who qualify, and officials on Thursday implored residents to sign up when it’s their turn and be patient with the process.
“Shockingly, Black residents have received only 3.5% of all administered doses, highlighting a glaring inadequacy in the vaccine rollout to date,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.