Long Beach, California – Long Beach decided to follow the example of Los Angeles County and keep requiring people to wear face coverings indoors if the number of COVID-19 cases remains high.
State officials decided on Monday to not postpone the face mask requirement for vaccinated residents and let it end as previously planned on February 15th. Officials were encouraged to make this decision due to the recent decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations and the 65% decrease in the infection rate.
Long Beach, which has its own health department, said they will ease the face mask requirements when a vaccine for the younger population under the age of five becomes available and when the seven-day average drops to 50 cases per 100,000 residents and the testing positivity rate decreases to less than 8%.
Once one of the aforementioned conditions is met, Long Beach Health Department officials stated that fully vaccinated residents would no longer be required to wear face coverings, except in the following circumstances:
- On public transit, including airplanes, ships, trains, buses and taxis
- Indoors in K-12 schools and child care facilities
- At emergency shelters and cooling and heating centers
- In health care settings
- At correctional facilities and detention centers
- In homeless shelters
- At long-term care settings and adult and senior care facilities
Long Beach City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis issued a statement saying, “We have learned a lot since the virus first emerged in Long Beach in March of 2020. The omicron surge necessitated stricter guidelines for mega events and masking, but even though it was our largest surge to date, we were able to weather it, in large part because people were vaccinated, boosted and wore their face coverings. As we move into year three of the pandemic, we will continue to do everything we can to maintain normality while protecting lives.”