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.

The city reported 95 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday—a spike attributed to more tests performed and backlogs in reporting results—and a slight rise in those hospitalized for the virus.

Three more people also died of the virus, bringing the city’s number of deaths to 68, the majority of which are linked to long-term care facilities.

Close to 1,500 people have now tested positive since early March.

One of the indicators the mayor and others have said they are watching closely is the hospitalization rate, which on Thursday stands at 62. That number had gone down to 56 on Wednesday after reaching a high of 66 people hospitalized on May 17.

While the numbers are fluctuating, the city’s health director said Wednesday that officials haven’t yet seen a surge. Long Beach could handle another 60 or so hospitalizations due to coronavirus without having to use surge capacity, according to Kelly Colopy, director of health services.

Where Long Beach stands in meeting the state’s criteria to reopen

All of those who have died of the virus in Long Beach had underlying health conditions, which can include asthma, autoimmune disorders and a range of health conditions.

The majority who died were over 60 (5 of the deaths were among those ages 40-60), and 52 were associated with long-term care facilities, which have been a breeding ground for coronavirus.

Of the city’s positive tests, 415 have been associated with 25 long-term care facilities in the city.

Melissa Evans is the Chief Executive Officer of the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal. Reach her at [email protected], @melissaevansLBP or 562-512-6354.