Long Beach health officials warn residents to take caution during Thanksgiving as COVID cases rise

Long Beach’s coronavirus metrics continue to slightly increase this week and may continue to rise after the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday and into winter, health officials said on Friday, Nov. 18.

But even though there have been slow – but steady – increases in Long Beach’s COVID-19 stats, the city remains in the low community transmission tier, according to city data.

For the last two years, city officials said on Friday, there has been an increase in cases that lead to a winter surge after Thanksgiving.

“Consider testing with at-home COVID-19 tests before gathering on Thanksgiving and again before returning to school or work after the holidays,” City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis said in a Friday statement. “Get your flu shot and bivalent COVID-19 booster before gathering, and gather outside when possible.”

It is also recommended that travelers wear a well-fitting, high-filtration mask, she said.

Los Angeles County, meanwhile, also returned to “strongly recommending” that people wear masks in all indoor public settings, as coronavirus infection rates have increased throughout the Southland since the beginning of November.

The recommendation falls short of a masking mandate, though face coverings are still required indoors at health-care and congregate-care facilities, for anyone exposed to the virus in the past 10 days, and at locations where they are required by the operator.

Health officials are continuing to warn about a third winter surge of COVID-19 cases as people spend more time indoors because of colder weather and the upcoming holidays.

City health officials have also urged folks to get their seasonal flu shots – as there is high flu activity in Southern California.

“With the current flu season starting earlier than usual this year,” Davis said in her Friday statement, “hospitalizations for RSV (respiratory syncytial viruses) in the pediatric population continue to stress hospital capacity in Southern California.”

Long Beach reported 431 new coronavirus cases this week, as of Thursday, an increase from 315 cases reported the week before. The total number of cases since the pandemic began, according to city data, was 153,083 as of Thursday.

The data is through Thursday, but the city posted the latest information to its COVID-19 dashboard on Friday.

The city’s daily case rate was 7.4 per 100,000 people this week, up from 5 the week before, the data shows. The seven-day case rate also increased, to 86.6 per 100,000 this week compared to 78 per 100,000 reported last week.

The positivity rate has increased as well, from 6.3% last week to 8.6% this week.

There were eight Long Beach residents hospitalized as of Thursday.

The seven-day rate of new COVID-19 hospital admissions marginally decreased, though, from 2.4 per 100,000 people last week to 2.1 this week. The proportion of in-patient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients in Long Beach-area hospitals was 2.6%, according to city data, a slight increase from 2.2% last week.

The city reported one COVID-19-related death this week. The citywide death toll since the pandemic began was 1,338, as of Thursday.

Children aged 5-to-11 remain among the least vaccinated in Long Beach, with 28.8% fully inoculated. That number hasn’t increased in more than one month. Those 65 and older, meanwhile, are the most vaccinated, with a 99% inoculation rate.

City News Services contributed to this report.


Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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