LONG BEACH, CA – On Sept. 20, 2022, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released the updated Guidance for the Use of Face Masks, to take effect Sept. 23, shifting from a strong recommendation to wear face coverings in all indoor settings to a more nuanced approach to masking recommendations that is based on the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels. COVID-19 Community Levels are established levels of impact based on hospitalization rates, hospital bed occupancy and COVID-19 case rates. Since Sept. 1, Long Beach has been in the Low COVID-19 Community Level. The City of Long Beach will align with the new CDPH Guidance for the Use of Face Masks.
Effective immediately, masking in public transit settings and transportation hubs is no longer required in the city. Masking recommendations in indoor general public settings, including public transit and indoor public transportation hubs, will be based on the City’s current COVID-19 Community Level.
- When the City is in the Low COVID-19 Community Level:
- People may wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by their own personal level of risk.
- People at high risk should consider wearing a mask in crowded indoor public places.
- When the City is in the Medium COVID-19 Community Level:
- Everyone should consider wearing a mask in indoor public places.
- It is recommended that people at high risk wear a mask in indoor public places.
- People who have household or social contact with a person at high risk are recommended to wear a mask when indoors with that person, in order to protect people with underlying health conditions or otherwise at high risk of severe disease.
- When the City is in the High COVID-19 Community Level:
- It is recommended that everyone wear a mask in indoor public places.
- It is strongly recommended that people at high risk wear a mask in indoor public places.
- People who have household or social contact with a vulnerable person are recommended to wear a mask when inside with that person, in order to protect those who are at high risk of severe disease.
Masking requirements in specified high risk, non-health care settings, including correctional facilities, shelters and cooling and heating centers are now based on COVID-19 Community Levels. Masking in non-clinical areas at these settings is optional when the COVID-19 Community Level is Low, provided there have been no recent outbreaks in the facility. When the COVID-19 Community Level is Medium or High, facilities must maintain or reinstate universal masking requirements for all staff and residents, regardless of whether there are outbreaks at the facility.
The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) now lists the current COVID-19 Community Level for Long Beach, which will be updated weekly on the COVID-19 website.
Masking continues to be required in all health care settings, long-term care facilities and adult and senior care facilities, regardless of vaccination status or COVID-19 Community Level.
At all COVID-19 Community Levels (Low, Medium and High), the CDPH and Health Department continue to strongly recommend:
- Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.
- Wearing a mask for 10 days after testing positive or being exposed to someone with COVID-19.
- Staying home when sick and knowing what to do when infected with COVID-19, including seeking treatment early.
- Testing if you are sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
- Improving ventilation and air quality in indoor settings.
- Washing hands regularly.
- Signing up for CA Notify to receive alerts when you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
Everyone should ensure that their mask provides a proper fit and filtration. Respirators like N95s, KN95s and KN94s are best.
As of Sept. 22, the 7-day case rate was 131.1 per 100,000, the 7-day hospitalization rate was 3.4 per 100,000, and 4.2% of inpatient beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients.