LONG BEACH, CA – With COVID-19 cases rising, the City of Long Beach has entered the Yellow (Medium) Tier of COVID-19 Community Level, the second of three tiers outlined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) is urging residents to adhere to the Health Order. Additionally, Health Officials are strongly recommending Long Beach residents take additional measures to protect themselves and others and slow the spread, including masking indoors, especially after close contact with someone who tested positive, and other common-sense safety strategies, such as staying home when sick; frequent hand washing; testing for COVID-19 when in contact with someone who has the virus or when experiencing any COVID-like symptoms; and becoming vaccinated and boosted when eligible.
The Health Department utilizes the CDC Community Levels to assess the impact of COVID-19 illness on health and healthcare systems. To determine the community level, a combination of three metrics are considered: new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days, new COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 population in the past seven days, and the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients. As of May 20, COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population is 205.7, COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 population is 1.5, and 1.6% of staffed inpatient beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, putting Long Beach in the Yellow Tier.
While hospitalizations and deaths remain low, the rise in cases has led to an increase of outbreaks across the city, including among our K-12 schools and nursing facilities, putting some of the most vulnerable residents at risk.
Many symptoms of COVID-19 resemble those of a cold, flu and allergies. Anyone experiencing congestion or a runny nose, the sniffles, sore throat, fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea should get tested for COVID-19 and otherwise stay home to prevent passing their illness onto others. Testing appointments can be made at longbeach.gov/covid19testing or by calling 562.570.4636.
If you should happen to test positive for COVID 19, the Health Department requires that you isolate at home for 10 days. You may leave isolation after five days if you:
- Test negative by PCR or rapid antigen test (rapid antigen test is preferred because the PCR test can stay positive for several weeks after you are no longer contagious), and
- Are fever free and your symptoms are improving, or you do not have symptoms, and
- Continue to wear a mask for a total of 10 days from the start of your symptoms, or if you had no symptoms, from your test date.
If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, the Health Department strongly recommends that you:
- Wear a mask while in indoor settings for 10 days after your exposure.
- Test at day three to five after exposure.
- Monitor for symptoms and stay home and test for COVID-19 if you develop symptoms.
The Health Department continues to urge everyone to get vaccinated and boosted when eligible, as it remains the single best way to protect yourself and those around you against COVID-19. Vaccines are safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 infection and especially effective at preventing hospitalization, serious illness or death among breakthrough cases of the virus. To view the most up-to-date vaccine clinic schedule and to schedule an appointment, visit longbeach.gov/vaxLB or call 562.570.4636.
For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep our residents safe, visit longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity and @LBHealthDept on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. People may also visit longbeach.gov/COVID19data for up-to-date information regarding cases and vaccines in Long Beach.