The city is currently in Phase 1B of its vaccine rollout plan, which includes an estimated 90,000 residents. Officials stated no further groups would be added to the eligibility list at this time but gave no indication as to how long that would last.
While deaths continue to soar, hospitalizations continue to fall, now at 496, the lowest since the end of December. Daily new cases also fell to a level not seen since late December to 472.
“It is certainly unprecedented,” Dr. Graham Tse said. “I’ve been in health care for over 30 years and there has been nothing to this degree, on this scale.”
Over the last three weeks alone, officials have reported 179 deaths, more than 34% of the city’s total.
Before December, the city averaged less than 10 deaths per week, with the highest number of deaths—22—reported the week of May 18.
The December surge is a “different reality” from July surge and the region could still see hospitalizations from infections over the holiday season.
Now at 578 patients as of Monday, Long Beach-area hospitalizations have more than quadrupled since Nov. 30, with the most drastic increases occurring in mid-December—about two weeks after Thanksgiving.
Beginning Saturday, Long Beach Airport will also begin operation of its own general drive-through COVID-19 testing site available for all other passengers traveling through the facility.
Health officials are still anticipating a fresh surge of cases, hospitalizations and, ultimately, deaths in the coming days and weeks following Christmas and New Year gatherings.
Los Angeles County health officials announced late Sunday that they would halt the use of the Curative coronavirus test at county-supported testing sites this week, a move Long Beach officials made nearly six months ago.