As the unprecedented increase in COVID-19 cases continues to threaten hospitalization capacity, Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that the state is being divided into five regions for monitoring Intensive Care Unit (ICU) hospital capacity moving forward. When a region’s ICU capacity falls below 15%, the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order will be implemented for a period of at least three weeks. The State’s Regional Stay at Home Order would go into effect 24 hours after reaching the metric, at which point the City of Long Beach would issue a revised Health Order with specifics on implementation.
The Southern California region, which includes Long Beach and Pasadena as well as all of Los Angeles County and Imperial, Inyo, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, is expected to reach this threshold within the next couple days; possibly, as early as tomorrow. Once the threshold has been reached the following sectors will need to close throughout the region:
- Indoor and outdoor dining
- Personal care services
- Hair salons and barbershops
- Museums, zoos and aquariums
- Bars, breweries, wineries and distilleries
- Family entertainment centers
The following sectors may remain open when remote option is not possible with appropriate infectious disease preventative measures including 100% masking and physical distancing:
- Critical infrastructure
- Schools that have previously received a waiver
- Non-urgent medical and dental care
- Child care
Retail businesses will be allowed to operate at 20% capacity and restaurants will remain open for take-out and delivery only. All non-essential travel will be temporarily restricted statewide. Hotels and lodging will be allowed to remain open for support of critical infrastructure only.
The City of Long Beach continues to closely monitor local data. The unprecedented rise in COVID-19 transmission rates locally, regionally and across the state is alarming. In Long Beach, since November 1, the number of new cases has increased by more than 320%. Area hospitalizations for COVID-19 are now at 154 patients, an increase of 400%. These data do not yet include the expected impacts from the Thanksgiving holiday.
The City recognizes that this is an extremely challenging time for many. The Governor’s office announced new assistance for people in need of financial support online at covid19.ca.gov/get-financial-help/. Additional resources and information for businesses are available at business.ca.gov/ and Long Beach-based businesses can seek help by calling 562-570-4BIZ.
The State announced that limited numbers of COVID-19 vaccine will be available for Californians within the next two weeks, a promising hope as cases continue to rise at an alarming rate. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from the virus. Per the City of Long Beach’s Safer at Home Order, residents are required to wear face coverings, refrain from gathering with people outside of their household, practice physical distancing and wash hands frequently. Residents also are strongly encouraged to get flu shots to help maintain the health and safety of the community. We must work together to meet this moment.