Long Beach health officials urge caution amid wave of new COVID-19 cases

Long Beach health officials on Thursday were urging residents to get flu shots, wear face coverings and practice physical distancing as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to climb across the state.

“We need to be more vigilant than ever in following the COVID-19 safety guidelines,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “As we move indoors with cooler temperatures, it’s so important that we stay the course, wear facial coverings, wash our hands and limit interactions outside our immediate household. We have to all work together to keep our community safe.”

Residents should be mindful of situations including:

  • Activities where it is difficult to wear a face covering the entire time, such as eating and drinking.
  • Activities where you see people you haven’t seen recently, such as those outside of your immediate household, extended family and friends.
  • Activities where it is difficult to keep your distance, such as multiple people at a small table.
  • Indoor activities that don’t allow for plenty of fresh air to circulate.

Officials are encouraging residents, especially those who are at increased risk, to find alternate ways to socialize without gathering in-person.

“We know people are experiencing COVID fatigue and impatience, but our choices and actions truly do affect our health and the health of our families and neighbors,” Department of Health and Human Services Director Kelly Colopy said in a statement. “It’s important that we commit to reducing close contact, sanitizing surfaces frequently and finding creative ways to socialize safely.”

As of Thursday the city reported 45 new cases for a total of 14,012. The city’s seven-day positive case rate has climbed to 3.8%, while the number of daily cases per 100,000 residents is now at 10.9, up from 9.8 the previous day.

The city has reported 265 total deaths.

Despite the recent increase in cases, officials on Thursday said the city continues to have adequate hospital space and personal protective equipment.

Residents are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider or local pharmacy to receive a flu vaccine. The city is also offering free flu vaccinations through Nov. 21.

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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].