Long Beach is one of few cities in California with its own health department—and with that comes more individualized data available to its residents.
The health department’s COVID-19 data dashboard offers a range of information related to deaths, hospitalizations and positive cases of COVID-19. However the data often changes as the city receives updated information from hospitals, testing sites and other care facilities.
If you want to know how Long Beach is doing with COVID-19, here’s how to better understand what the dashboard is reporting.
On the first page of the data dashboard, you’ll see a graph that shows “COVID-19 Reporting By Date.” This is not the same number of new cases that officials report each day; it’s actually the date a patient reports that his or her COVID-19 symptoms started, city spokeswoman Chelsey Finegan said. This is why on July 28 the Post reported 313 new cases of COVID-19 while the graph shows just 122 cases.
In most of the graphs, you can right click to “show as table” to read the specific numbers.
The map below the graph shows which areas of the city are hardest hit by COVID-19. The disparities are stark, as seen in a Post analysis of the data.
In the citywide cases per 100,000 population section, the number shows overall cases, not the 14-day average that the state uses to determine when cities can reopen parts of the economy. You can see the current 14-day average number of cases per 100,000 population in the “State Indicators” section.
This page is fairly self-explanatory: The first graph shows how Long Beach compares to Los Angeles, the county and the state in terms of cases per 100,000 people since April.
In this page, you can also see a breakdown of available demographic data for all of the cases, including age, race and gender.
In the hospitalizations tab, you can see how Long Beach and LA County compare in terms of total hospitalizations per 100,000 population. This is helpful for seeing if hospitalizations have begun to slow or plateau over time.
In the “Active Hospitalizations for Last 60 Days” graph, the numbers that are reported are Long Beach residents that are hospitalized anywhere on a specific date—not who is hospitalized in Long Beach. This is why the graph shows two numbers: hospitalizations reported on date and updated hospitalizations.
Officials have explained they constantly update these numbers because there’s a lag in time from when Long Beach health officials get admission and discharge dates from hospitals in other jurisdictions. In mid-July, the numbers were initially updated much higher than originally reported, but now the graph for the dates since show updated numbers lower than initially reported.
Similar to the hospitalizations tab, the first graph shows deaths per 100,000 people over time. The second graph shows how deaths spread out each week, with the data based on the date the person died, according to Finegan. It’s not the date reported by hospitals or by the health department through the daily updates, but from death certificates. This data can also be updated as more information becomes available, Finegan said.
This shows how Long Beach is progressing when it comes to reopening. The recently-added section shows the six state indicators the city and county need to meet in order to get off the state monitoring list.
Long Beach has met all but two indicators: the positivity rate and the 14-day average case rate per 100,000 people.