Long Beach Unified, the city’s largest employer, stopped short of requiring vaccinations Wednesday, but the superintendent strongly encouraged teachers and students to get the vaccine.
Long Beach recorded 105 cases and one new death at the end of a week that has seen steadily increasing indicators of the virus’ spread.
If Long Beach were still under California’s old coronavirus rules, the number of cases would have already triggered sweeping economic restrictions.
The quick spread of the virus promoted city and county health officials to issue a new health order this week requiring masks indoors, regardless of a person’s vaccination status.
“We were thinking there were going to be really difficult cuts this year,” Mayor Robert Garcia said at a Friday media briefing. The passage of the federal American Recovery Act “absolutely changed everything about our budget.”
The new county mandate—a result of rising cases amid a new, more contagious variant—will take effect at 11:59 p.m. Saturday; it wasn’t immediately when Long Beach will institute the new requirement.
County health officials reported 1,103 new cases of COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the fifth straight day that new cases topped 1,000.
The rise in cases is a worrisome trend as the state opens up, vaccinations have leveled off and a new variant of the virus has become more prevalent.
Long Beach beaches, as well as popular beaches for locals in Orange County, scored well for water quality on this year’s report.
Normally the holiday would be observed on a Friday, since June 19 falls on a Saturday this year. However with only a day’s notice, the city decided to push the holiday to Monday, a city official said.