City of Long Beach Issues Further Restrictions Due to COVID-19 Surge
Long Beach has reached unprecedented levels of new COVID-19 infections. COVID-19 cases, which now number 16,786, are rising rapidly in Long Beach. Since Nov 1, the average number of new cases has increased by 313%, a much steeper curve than the City saw during the summer surge. The positivity rate is now at 6%, compared to 2.9% at its lowest, and the most recent seven-day average case rate is 31.6 per 100,000, up from a low of 6.9 per 100,000. Long Beach-area hospitalizations (Long Beach Memorial Hospital, St. Mary Medical Center, College Medical Center, Lakewood Regional Medical Center and Los Alamitos Medical Center) have grown by 413% since November 1, to 149. While the City monitors regional hospitalizations, we also track Long Beach residents who are hospitalized from COVID-19. That number has grown by 160% since Nov. 1. Currently, 86 Long Beach residents are hospitalized with COVID-19; and 64% Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds are being utilized. The number of cases at long-term care facilities (LTCF) are also on the rise. There are currently eight outbreaks at LTCFs in the city, a stark contrast from early November, when there was a period of no reported outbreaks.
To further protect against the spread of COVID-19, amid this alarming rise in cases and hospitalizations, the Department of Health and Human Services issued an updated health order that provides modifications for various activities and limits occupancy at businesses.
Reminder that individuals must stay home whenever practicable to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Individuals may travel to and from essential businesses, to work at or provide services to a healthcare operation or essential business/infrastructure, to engage in essential activities or to participate in permitted individual or household outdoor and indoor activity while practicing required physical distancing, infection control and masking.
All public and private gatherings and events with individuals not in one’s household are prohibited except for religious services and protests, which are constitutionally protected rights.
Permitted Outdoor Recreation for Individuals
Beaches, trails and parks remain open for active recreation; running, biking, walking, swimming and playing outdoors are permitted with distancing, infection control and masking (except while swimming). Gatherings are prohibited with members outside of one’s household.
Shared outdoor facilities for recreational activities already operating remain open for individuals or members of a single household with required distancing, infection control and masking; this is limited to golf courses, tennis courts, pickleball courts, archery ranges, skate parks, bike parks and community gardens. For more information about the new health order, click here.
Businesses with questions regarding the new protocols may call the City of Long Beach’s Business Information Line between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays at 562-570-4BIZ. Residents with questions may call the City’s Information Line at 562-570-INFO between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., weekdays.
Parks, Recreation and Marine to Offer Winter Programs for Youth
Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) will offer programs to safely engage youth during the upcoming Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) winter break. The programs will adhere to lower staff-to-camper ratios and other enhanced safety protocols.
Winter Camps for children ages 5-12 will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays from Dec. 21 through Dec. 31 (closed Dec. 25, Christmas Day). Campers will be able to enjoy fun new games that follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Online registration for the Winter Camps is now available. Registration fees are $30 per week; financial assistance is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, call 562-570-3150.
Teens can participate in free winter break activities from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays from Dec. 21 through Dec. 31 (closed Dec. 25, Christmas Day).To participate, teens must have parents sign waiver forms at the site on their first visit. Pre-registration is not required. Call the park for more information. For additional information and program park sites for the Winter Break programs and other activities for youth, people may visit longbeach.gov/parks or call 562-570-3150.