Long Beach reports first COVID-19 death in a week

Long Beach officials Thursday reported the city’s first COVID-19 death in a week, for a total of 940 since the onset of the pandemic 14 months ago.

After a small uptick earlier this week, the city’s seven-day positivity rate decreased Thursday to 0.7%. The city’s positivity rate reached a high of 17.8% in early January.

Officials reported 13 new cases of the virus Thursday, for a total of 53,403 since the pandemic began.

Long Beach’s daily cases per 100,000 residents continues to decrease with a slight dip to 1.4, its lowest point since the city began reporting the statistic in August.

The number of Long Beach residents hospitalized due to coronavirus and the total number of COVID-19 patients in Long Beach-area hospitals each dropped by one to 11 and 15, respectively. Hospitalizations reached a critical level in mid-January with 581 patients, which threatened to overwhelm the city’s health system.

The city recently deployed mobile vaccination units, and now nearly 53% of Long Beach residents are vaccinated, according to the Long Beach health department.

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Brandon Richardson is a business reporter, covering everything from real estate and healthcare to the airport and port to city hall and the economy. He is a Long Beach native who has been with the Business Journal since graduating from Long Beach City College in spring 2016 with an associate’s degree in journalism. He is an avid record collector and concert goer.