City, county call on businesses to comply with health orders

Long Beach officials said they’ve issued a total of 11 citations to businesses for not complying with health orders—up from seven officials acknowledged last week—even after attempts at educating the businesses.

Officials have not released the names of businesses that have been issued citations, though two restaurants that flagged are listed on the Health Department’s website: Shenanigans in Shoreline Village and The Reef near the Queen Mary were closed July 10 for “not adhering to Safer at Home Health Order.” The Post has filed a public records request for the names of the other businesses, and details about why they were cited.

Chris Koontz, the deputy director of Development Services, said that the city’s venue task force has inspected 4,034 businesses since March and found 76% were in compliance on the first visit and more than 90% have complied by the second visit. The city has criminally cited at least one gym that did not close, officials said Monday at a media briefing.

Koontz asked residents who see non-compliant businesses to report it to the city.

Long Beach city and Los Angeles County officials urged businesses and the public to do their part in complying with the COVID-19 health orders on Monday.

County health director Barbara Ferrer announced the county shut down three more businesses due to large-scale outbreaks and failure to comply with operating protocols: Golden State Foods Corp. in Industry had 43 confirmed cases of the virus, S&S Foods in Azusa had 58 cases and a Mission Foods facility in Commerce had 40 cases.

Ferrer made a renewed call for regional cooperation and commitment among residents and business owners to slow the spread of the virus and avoid a return to more dramatic stay-at-home orders.

“I’ve said before that additional rollbacks or closures must remain on the table,” Ferrer said. “But at this stage in the pandemic, we believe we have a lot of tools available that if fully utilized should allow us to slow the spread without going back to the more stringent Safer-At-Home orders that were in place earlier in the pandemic.”

City officials reported 214 new cases since Friday, making a total of 7,582 cases in the city.  They also counted 106 Long Beach residents who are hospitalized. 

Countywide, officials announced 17 new deaths and 2,039 new cases.

Long Beach health director Kelly Colopy also announced the city’s positivity rate is down to 10.2%, compared to 14.1% last Monday. The countywide positivity rate is at 9%.

Colopy also pointed out how much worse COVID-19 is than the seasonal flu, since many like to compare the two as a way to try to minimize COVID-19. In the entire 2019 flu season, a total of 12 people died from the flu in Long Beach, whereas 163 people have died of COVID-19 since March, Colopy said.

“So I want people to really understand that COVID is real, what we are fighting is real and what we are asking you to do is real because it is the only way that we can stop the deaths and the illness that is going on across the people that we know and love,” Colopy said.

City News Service contributed to this report. 

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Valerie Osier is a breaking news and crime reporter for the Long Beach Post. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband, Steven, and her cat/child, Jones.