Long Beach sees 3 new coronavirus cases, bringing total to 8

Long Beach on Tuesday reported three new cases of COVID-19, brining the total citywide to eight, officials said.

Of the three new patients, two traveled to areas where the coronavirus is known to be spreading in the community. One case is still under investigation.

These are the first new cases reported in Long Beach since Saturday. Approximately 110 people are currently being monitored for possible exposure to the new coronavirus.

Health officials are investigating whom these individuals had close contact with in Long Beach, and they could provide more information at a later date about where they visited in the city, but details would have to be released in a way that protects people’s privacy, officials said.

As of Tuesday morning, California had tallied 392 known cases of COVID-19, about 100 of which are in Los Angeles County. Across the nation, authorities have confirmed more than 3,400.

In Long Beach and Los Angeles County, the coronavirus has begun to spread through what’s known as “community transmission,” meaning authorities haven’t been able to track the likely source of infection. Health officials say there are certainly more cases that haven’t been detected yet.

Some of that incomplete picture is because of a delay in testing. The city only received test kits within the last few days. However, Long Beach noted that private labs are now screening people, but it’s unclear how many because they’re only required to report positive results to local health officials.

Meanwhile, bars, nightclubs, breweries and wineries, as well as gyms and other fitness facilities and large entertainment venues are to remained closed through March 31 in accordance with a mandate issued by the Health and Human Services Department.

Restaurants and other food-serving establishments are limited to delivery and takeout in an effort to promote social distancing, something that could slow the spread of the coronavirus and keep hospitals from being overwhelmed, according to experts.

If Long Beach residents think they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus, they should call—not visit—their healthcare provider, who must determine a test is necessary for one to be administered.

Long Beach residents can also call 562-570-INFO (4636), between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. if they can’t get in touch with their healthcare provider.

City officials urged residents to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by practicing good hygiene, avoiding crowds and keeping six feet of distance from people when possible.

The virus usually causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But the governor is urging those 65 and older and people with chronic health conditions to stay at home because they can be hit with more severe illness, including pneumonia.

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Kelly Puente is an award-winning general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. She has worked as a journalist in Long Beach since 2006, covering everything from education and crime to courts and breaking news. Kelly previously worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the Orange County Register before joining the Post in 2018. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].