Department of Public Health - COVID-19 testing
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health conducts Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 on March 19, 2020. Photo courtesy Los Angeles County.

As news of local vaccine rollouts dominates headlines, the surge in new cases of COVID-19 shows no signs of slowing in Long Beach and Los Angeles County.

On Thursday, Long Beach officials reported another stunning case count: 480 new cases since Wednesday, bringing the total to 20,088. So far this week, officials reported more than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19.

“The city’s first reported cases were on March 9, and it took approximately five and a half months to reach 10,000 cases. The following 10,000 cases have occurred in just three and a half months,” officials said in a statement.

The case growth isn’t limited to Long Beach: Countywide, officials reported a record 12,819 new cases in one day and 74 new deaths.

County officials also reported the first death of a child from COVID-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), which is associated with the virus. The child had severe underlying health conditions and was hospitalized.

Long Beach’s seven-day positivity rate for testing is also the highest it’s ever been, hitting 10.3%. It was at 3.4% at the beginning of November and 6% at the beginning of this month. The average number of daily cases per 100,000 people broke another record at 63.8, more than double what it was on Dec. 1.

The number of people hospitalized in the Long Beach area is the only number that fell, with 199 people hospitalized with the virus as of Thursday, eight fewer than the day before. Countywide, 3,433 people were hospitalized with 23% of those people in intensive care. County officials noted that the number of those hospitalized grew by 300 in just two days.

Long Beach officials reported two new deaths associated with COVID-19, bringing the total number to 290. One of those deaths was someone in a long-term care facility.

The city is still testing more people than ever, with nearly 4,000 tests on Wednesday.

Long Beach officials on Wednesday announced the city’s vaccine rollout plan, including 3,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that are expected to be delivered by the end of the month.

Valerie Osier is the Social Media & Newsletter Manager for the Long Beach Post. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @ValerieOsier