City health officials announced modifications to their COVID-19 health order Tuesday, which adds a new school quarantine option and clarifies the vaccination and testing requirements for large “mega” events as well as workplace protocols.

The city’s latest health order went into effect on Nov. 5.

Modified quarantine option

Schools can now offer what the city calls a “modified quarantine option” for students who have been in close contact with someone infected with COVID-19 while at school. Students exposed to COVID-19 in settings outside of school are not eligible for this new modified quarantine option, according to the city.

These students, if they have no symptoms, may continue in-person learning if they are tested twice a week, either with a rapid antigen or PCR test, according to the new health order.

Students that are in modified quarantine must wear a mask at all times while at school, except when eating or drinking, according to the city. They are also prohibited from taking part in extracurricular activities.

When not in school, the student must be at home, states the new health order.

The quarantine begins the day the student’s parent or guardian learns of the exposure. If the student tests negative, they can end their quarantine after the eighth day.

The city defines “close contact” as a person who either:

  • has been within six feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period, or
  • has been in direct contact with the infected person’s bodily fluids (such as being coughed or sneezed on; having shared utensils with; or kissed).
Mega events

All attendees at large events who are 2 years old and older must either provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event start time, according to the new health order.

Indoor mega events have crowds of at least 1,000 attendees while outdoor mega events have at least 10,000 attendees, according to the city.

The new health order says mega events “are considered higher risk for COVID-19 transmission.”

Workplace protocols

While the health order reiterates that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask while indoors, it also clarifies that individuals in the performing arts may appear on stage without a mask, though only during their actual performance.

“Those who remove their masks while performing must be tested twice weekly for COVID-19 unless they have provided proof of full vaccination or proof of recovery from laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 within the past 90 days,” according to a statement from city officials.

Two or more employees traveling together in a car must also wear a mask, according to the new health order.

There were 65,844 cases of COVID-19 in Long Beach as of Nov. 9, according to the city. Since the pandemic began, 1,047 people in Long Beach have died of COVID-19.

You can read the updated health order here.

What you need to know about Long Beach’s newest COVID-19 health order