Facing a rapidly evolving situation surrounding local health orders and vaccination-eligible residents, the Long Beach City Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday afternoon to be briefed on changes over the past week.

The call for a special session comes just days after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he was lifting strict stay-at-home orders based on regional hospital capacity, and that counties again would be subject to a previous system that based reopenings on more localized COVID-19 metrics.

Following Newsom’s announcement Monday, Mayor Robert Garcia announced that Long Beach would allow outdoor dining to resume effective Tuesday, something that hadn’t been allowed in the city since late November.

The news sent Long Beach restauranteurs scrambling this week to reopen their outdoor patios, but some questions still remain.

Councilwoman Stacy Mungo Flanigan had requested that a report be given to the council about the status of health orders and how vaccinations are being deployed in the city. It’s unclear if her regular agenda item will still be heard now that a special meeting has also been called to discuss the same topics.

“Both lives and livelihoods are at stake, and the public has a right to know from the city they live in what the current status of things are relative to the Governor’s stay-at-home orders,” Mungo said in her request.

She asked for the report in anticipation of changes being made by the governor, but said there are still uncertainties among residents and business owners in her district.

One specific question Mungo Flanigan said she received was from a business owner wondering if the use of plastic partitions could serve as a workaround for a restaurant that has its tables permanently affixed to the ground and can’t comply with the new health order that requires 8 feet of space between tables instead of the previously required 6 feet.

In her role on the city’s economic development and finance committee, she said she intends to hold roundtable meetings with stakeholders in the local economy. But first, residents and councilmembers need to be able to ask questions of health officials.

“I think input is valuable once it’s informed,” Mungo Flanigan said.

Questions surrounding the the city’s vaccination program have also cropped up in the past few days as the city announced it was moving into a new tier that includes teachers and food workers. However a shortage of vaccine and the city’s pivot to prioritize second shots has left its online appointment site without available appointments.

The state’s announcement this week that it was moving to a model that was prioritizing vaccine recipients by age, rather than occupation, has only added to the confusion.

Long Beach leaders have not specified if they will abandon originally announced if they will change the schedule of who is eligible.

The city’s plan to vaccinate its teachers and other education sector employees hit a snag this week as the demand for shots outpaced the city’s supply.

The special meeting was announced in a week where the city surpassed 600 total deaths since the COVID-19 pandemic took its first life in Long Beach last spring. However other indicators like positivity rate continue to decline or level off in promising trends that have not been present since before the year-end holiday season.

The City Council special meeting is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 2. and can be streamed on the city’s website.

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.