Long Beach is applying for the next phase of reopening

Mayor Garcia announced today that Long Beach would be teaming with the County of Los Angeles to qualify to enter the next stage of reopening the city.

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In the most recent COVID-19 live stream, City officials discussed the latest number of cases, changes to the local health order and how Long Beach is preparing to move into the next reopening stage.

COVID-19
On Wednesday, May 27, Kelly Colopy, Director of the Long Beach Health and Human Services, announced that the City is reporting 1,666 positive cases of the coronavirus in Long Beach.

Colopy also stated that out of this number, 1,184 patients have recovered from the disease.

However, the City is also reporting six new deaths since yesterday, bringing the total number of casualties to 81.

Of this number, Colopy stated that 62 of the deaths are linked to long-term care facilities, but that the City sees improvement.

“We’ve seen a lot of different long-term care facilities where we have not seen any additional cases,” Colopy said. “They’re doing a great job with us and we’re doing everything we can to make sure that we continue to improve the conditions and to ensure that they’re safe.”

Changes to the Health Order
Mayor Robert Garcia also announced changes to the City’s public health order for offices, small retailers and places of worship.

“And so today, […] we’re currently putting out our new health order that will allow houses of worship, allow retail shopping, allow offices across the city [to open],” Garcia said.

Under the health order, these locations will be open to the public but must follow social-distancing procedures and limit the number of customers in a store at one time.

According to the health order, places of worship and shops will only be allowed to fill to 50 percent capacity and must maintain a six-foot distance at all times.

Additionally, these locations must disinfect and clean.

The mayor also asked for residents attending services to avoid sharing prayer books, hymnbooks or other items when close.

Offices will be allowed to open, but Garcia encouraged businesses to continue working from home if possible.

“If offices are telecommuting, now, we encourage that to continue,” Garcia said. “We think that’s a healthy way to keep folks safe and to keep the economy working. So telecommute if you can, but offices can begin to open.”

The Next Phase
Along with the new health order, Mayor Garcia also announced that Long Beach is teaming up with the County of Los Angeles to apply for a fast-track to reopen the City.

“The good news and I wanted to announce today that […] Long Beach has submitted a fast track variance application with the state of California,” Garcia announced.

To approve its chances of success, the City of Long Beach has teamed up with the County to strengthen its case for reopening.

Garcia stated that this is because both the County and the City have reached the health markers set by the State, but that the numbers look more positive by combining Long Beach and Los Angeles County.

“We in Long Beach have done some really great work as it relates to health preparedness– and so has LA County,” Garcia said. “In some areas, they’re doing just a little better than us, and others we’re doing just a little better than that. But combined, we meet all the criteria that are required to the State to move forward.

According to the mayor, the City hopes to have an answer in 24-48 hours and make an announcement on Friday.