More than 700 Long Beach residents have now died from COVID-19

Long Beach eclipsed two milestones Thursday: The city has now reported 705 deaths due to COVID-19 and 49,045 positive cases since the pandemic began in March.

Both the number of cases and deaths have more than doubled over just the last six weeks as the city and county emerge from a winter surge that lasted roughly two months.

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths surged in the winter months in Long Beach.

The city on Thursday reported 11 new deaths, a number that has been elevated for the last several weeks. The city has reported more than 50 deaths in just the last seven days.

Los Angeles County on Thursday reported 239 deaths (this figure includes 16 that were reported by Long Beach on Wednesday). County health officials have said they anticipated daily deaths to remain elevated, given the spike in hospitalizations that occurred in late December and early January.

However the number of new cases continues to decrease, with 221 new cases reported on Thursday. The city’s positivity rate is now 9.3%, with 46.2 per 100,000 residents who have the virus.

In order to move to a stage with fewer restrictions on activity and business, the city and county would have to get its positivity rate below 8% and cases per 100,000 resident to no more than seven.

County health officials continued urging people to avoid gatherings that could promote further spread of the virus—particularly with Super Bowl Sunday on the horizon.

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