Long Beach exceeds 50K cases of COVID-19 as vaccinations progress

Long Beach has now given roughly 60,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to residents who qualify, and officials on Thursday implored residents to sign up when it’s their turn and be patient with the process.

Eligible groups include seniors over 65, health care workers, nursing residents and workers, teachers, faculty, school staff and grocery workers.

The city this week is focusing on giving second doses to those who received their first dose weeks ago. Officials said everyone who received a first dose will be notified when it’s time for a second.

“Your name or your family member’s name will be called as long as you’re in the system,” Mayor Robert Garcia said, referring to the city’s VaxLB portal.

Meanwhile, the city is working to reach Spanish-speaking residents who qualify, along with members of the Cambodian and Black communities who may be leery of the vaccine or unsure how to get it.

Officials on Thursday reported another 15 people died of COVID-19 for a total of 754 since the start of the pandemic. Case rates, however, continue to plummet; the city reported another 80 confirmed cases, which pushed the total since March to 50,072.

“The pandemic is not over,” the mayor said Thursday at a media briefing. “We still have a lot of work ahead.”

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Melissa has been a journalist for over two decades, starting her career as a reporter covering health and religion and moving into local news. She has worked as an editor for eight years, including seven years at the Press Telegram before joining the Long Beach Post in June 2018. She also serves as a part-time lecturer at Cal State Long Beach where she teaches multimedia journalism and writing.