Long Beach reports one new death, 75 new COVID-19 cases since Friday

Long Beach health officials reported Monday that one additional person died of COVID-19, bringing the total since the pandemic began in March to 250.

The city also reported another 75 cases of the virus since Friday, with 12,431 total infected.

The city’s positivity rate among those who were tested over the past seven days is 3.3%—which meets the state standards for looser restrictions—though the number of cases per 100,000 residents remains elevated at 7.1. The state requires no more than seven cases.

Even if the city were to meet the state requirements, the county numbers are what state officials use to determine whether additional businesses can open up. The county saw its cases rise last week, and on Monday, officials warned the public again about large gatherings.

On Sunday, an estimated 100,000 people marched through Mid-City in support of Armenia and hundreds more gathered downtown to celebrate the Lakers’ NBA Finals victory. Los Angeles County health officials urged attendees on Monday to get tested for the coronavirus.

In a statement, the county Department of Public Health insisted that COVID-19 “remains easily spread among people who are in close contact with an infected person.”

While not specifically mentioning either of Sunday’s large gatherings, health officials called on anyone who spent time in a large crowd to get tested for the virus.

“If you were in a crowd with non-household members, especially if people weren’t wearing face coverings and were shouting, chanting and/or singing, you may have been exposed to COVID-19 if an infected person was also there,” according to the county statement. “People can pass the virus to others, even before they know they have it.”

The warning came as the county reported two additional coronavirus-related deaths, raising the overall total during the pandemic to 6,773. The county also announced another 881 cases, lifting the countywide cumulative total to 283,023.

County officials noted that case numbers tend to be artificially low on Mondays, due to reporting lags over the weekend. The low numbers are a welcome change from last week, when the county saw a one-day spike of new cases topping 1,600, followed by three days of case numbers above 1,200.

In order to escape the most restrictive tier of the state’s four-tier economic-reopening roadmap, the county needs to get the average daily new case number down to about 700.

Since counties must meet the state requirements for two straight weeks to move up in the reopening matrix, Los Angeles County is currently unlikely to see any movement for at least two to three weeks.    The state updates county placements in the matrix every Tuesday.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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