Eddie Daniels administers rapid COVID-19 tests at Greater St. Paul Church in downtown Oakland on January 4, 2022. Martin do Nascimento/CalMatters

Long Beach health officials Friday reported 14 more coronavirus-related deaths. The high figure is the result of a backlog at the state level, health department spokeswoman Jennifer Gonzalez said.

The city has reported at least one death every day since Jan. 18, for a total of 113 over those five weeks. Since the first death was reported almost two years ago, city health officials have reported 1,203 COVID-19 deaths.

The city’s testing positivity rate dropped to 5.4%, officials reported Friday. The cumulative seven-day case rate per 100,000 residents also continues to inch downward, now at 220.7.

The positivity and cumulative case rate are the two metrics by which the city could enter into the CDC’s “moderate” transmission category. To reach that point, the positivity rate must be less than 8% and the seven-day average case rate must be fewer than 50.

If those metrics hold at that level for two weeks, city officials will forgo indoor masking requirements. The city’s other scenario for removing the mandate is that vaccinations be available for children under 5 for at least eight weeks.

No vaccine has been approved for children under age 5.

Long Beach health officials Friday also reported a decline in the overall number of cases thanks to the removal of duplicate entries, Gonzalez said. The city has 85 fewer cases of COVID-19 as of Friday than it did Thursday, according to city data.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Long Beach-area hospitals continued to fall Friday, reaching 147.

As of Friday, just under 81% of eligible Long Beach residents had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 72.7% are fully inoculated against the virus. Only 33.6% have received their booster, according to city data.

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Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal.