6 more people died of COVID-19 in Long Beach, including a person in their 20s

The city on Thursday reported six more deaths due to the coronavirus, including one individual who was in his or her 20s.

The circumstances of the death were not clear, but the city said in its daily news release that all of those who’ve died had underlying health conditions, which includes common conditions such as asthma, diabetes, obesity and many others.

One of the deaths was also a person associated with a long-term care facility, which earlier in the pandemic had been a hotbed for coronavirus cases and deaths. That trend has since leveled off, with cases among young people on the rise.

Dr. Anissa Davis, the city’s health officer, said at a media briefing that the median age of new cases in early May was mid-40s. Now, the median age is early 30s.

More than half of all deaths are now occurring among people outside of long-term care facilities, versus about 20% a few months ago, she said. And the median age of death has fallen from 86 to 64.

“We need to be vigilant about wearing face masks, staying physically distant and not gathering with those not in your household,” Davis said.

Since the city began reporting data in mid-March, two of the 176 deaths that have occurred in Long Beach have been among people in their 20s. Two were in their 40s, 13 were in their 50s, and the remainder were over 60. A total of 120 deaths have been associated with long-term care facilities.

The city on Thursday also reported a total of 8,099 positive cases of coronavirus, with 151 reported in the last 24 hours. Since just Monday, the city has reported 731 new cases of COVID-19—and for the last three weeks has reported around 1,000 new cases per week, nearly half of its total.

Davis announced that the city updated its health orders, requiring individuals who’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 to quarantine for 14 days, regardless of whether they’ve had a negative test.

Officials did share some positive news: The number of people who test positive compared to all those who are tested is now at 10.9%. That’s down from a high of 15.2% two weeks ago. California requires the rate to be 8% or below—along with some other benchmarks—before a region can get off a state watchlist that limits certain aspects of reopening.

Mayor Robert Garcia also spoke publicly Thursday for the first time since announcing his mother, Gaby O’Donnell, had died of the coronavirus on Sunday. She was 61.

“My mother and I were very close,” Garcia said. “She was my best friend.”

O’Donnell was an immigrant who came to the United States from Lima, Peru, more than four decades ago. One of her most joyous moments, Garcia said, was becoming a U.S. Citizen.

“She reflected a lot about how much she loved this country,” he said. “She had a lot of hope in this country.”

Garcia said losing a relative to this virus is a very difficult thing to go through: “We all need to work together to ensure this doesn’t happen to other families. Every single one of those individuals (who’ve died) has a family, and they all deserve our respect and our love. They are not just a data point, they are human beings.”

Garcia’s step-father, Greg O’Donnell, remains hospitalized with COVID-19.

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