During the latest COVID-19 community update from the City of Long Beach, Mayor Robert Garcia announced that eight members of Firehouse 11, located in North Long Beach, have been diagnosed with the disease– bringing the number of cases in Long Beach to 41.
Long Beach Fire Chief Xavier Espino confirmed that the eight firefighters are currently self-isolating at home and are in good spirits.
“The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is actively investigating the details surrounding these cases, as well as any other potential exposures,” Espino said. “At this time, the preliminary investigation indicates that the firefighters were exposed to the virus during the performance of the regular duties.”
Moving forward, Espino stated that the Long Beach Fire Department(LBFD) will move take steps to protect personnel and the public from further exposure.
Fire Station 11 is expected to return to operational level at 6pm on Wednesday, after extensive cleaning to ensure that it is safe for the firefighters.
Additionally, Espino asked the community for help in containing the spread of COVID-19 by respecting the emergency order issued by the City and respect the need for social distancing.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is for everyone in our community to respect the Safer-at-Home mandate and practice impeccable personal hygiene and social distancing,” Espino said.
In her comments, Dr. Anissa Davis, the Long Beach health officer, reiterated the need to self-isolate to lessen the chance of passing the disease to healthcare workers and first responders.
“The sacrifices that we make now to lessen transmission will pay off in the long run with fewer people getting seriously ill and [putting] less strain on our hospital systems and our healthcare workforce,” Davis said.
As of way of dealing with anxiety, Davis asked the public to take care of themselves by exercising, and sleeping and eating well.
The mayor also answered a question about parking tickets. Recently, the City has waived parking tickets to lessen the burden on parking-impacted areas of Long Beach, but residents have complained that they are still being issued tickets.
Garcia assured residents that the City has waived until next Monday, but that residents can still be ticketed if they park in a no-parking zone- such as in front of a fire hydrant or handicap spot.
Garcia also stated that the reason the City needs to begin street sweeping again is to maintain public health and avoid flooding from the trash.
“If we have another rain or storm now, we will have flooding,” Garcia said. “And we cannot deal with both flooding, as well as COVID-19, at the same time.”
To help lessen the impact of parking, Garcia told viewers that the City is opening some lots for free parking. Residents can park their cars there for the duration of the health crisis.
To sign up residents can visit longbeach.gov for more information or e-mail [email protected] for an application.