2 more Long Beach firefighters, 13 more residents test positive for COVID-19

A total of 10 Long Beach firefighters have now tested positive for COVID-19, up from eight on Wednesday, officials said.

And the overall number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for Long Beach residents climbed to 54, up from 41 on Wednesday. Six of the firefighters are not included in that total because they aren’t Long Beach residents, officials said.

Officials said eight people have recovered from the disease but didn’t immediately say how many have been hospitalized.

In Los Angeles County as a whole, there were 421 new cases reported Thursday, bringing the total to more than 1,200.

L.A. County also reported nine new deaths Thursday, bringing the countywide total to 21. So far only one person has died of COVID-19 in Long Beach.

About 1.6% of people diagnosed with COVID-19 have died in L.A. County, according to public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer, who emphasized that rate is worse than the flu.

She said the two best tools to fight he spread of the coronavirus are still social distancing for anyone without symptoms and self-isolation for anyone who may have the disease.

The Long Beach firefighters who have contracted COVID-19 are all connected to Fire Station 11 in North Long Beach. City officials on Thursday said Long Beach Fire Station 11 personnel were being deployed from nearby Station 12 and that all Station 11 apparatus are in full service and are responding to calls for service.

The Long Beach Police Department has implemented a temporary, modified response protocols for certain calls for service and is expected to release more information later today. Anyone calling 911 is also screened for COVID-19 symptoms as first-responders are dispatched.

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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].