Long Beach health officials remain cautiously optimistic about the local spread of Covid-19 at the start of the school year
Long Beach, California – The summer Covid-19 peak is behind us as the number of new Covid-19 cases is has been declining in past weeks nationwide. According to the New York Times Covid-19 data tracker, the 14-day average number of cases is currently 95,156, which is 19% lower compared to the previous period. Hospitalizations as a result of the virus are also declining. Per the 14-day average daily data, the number of hospitalizations is down by 7%, and the declining trend is expected to continue in the upcoming period.
California follows the declining trend. Like in the majority of the states, the number of new Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations has been declining in the past few weeks. In the city of Long Beach, a total of 1,028 new cases were reported over the last week, which is less compared to the week before. A total of 2,175 cases were added in the past two weeks, confirming the fact that the peak of this summer wave is behind us.
On Thursday, the positivity rate in Long Beach was 11.7%, while the number of new cases per 100,000 people was 15.9 for the past week. For the week before, the number of cases per 100,000 was 19.5, which is another sign that the spread of the virus is declining.
While the local health officials are happy with the recent trends and number of new cases, they remain cautiously optimistic for the upcoming weeks. According to them, it’s still not clear if the trend of fewer cases will continue in the next few months, since it’s not clear how the start of school will affect the spread of the virus in the area.
“It’s very encouraging to see that cases in our city continue to decline,” said City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis, “and we encourage everyone to do their part in keeping cases relatively low.”
In terms of Covid-19 hospitalizations, however, Long Beach has seen an increase in the number of people hospitalized due to the virus. That said, there were 8.4 hospitalizations per 100,000 residents last week, which is nearly double compared to the week before, when there were only 4.7 hospitalizations per 100,000 people. Although the numbers had doubled week-over-week, last week’s hospitalizations were still below 10 per 100,000, which, according to the CDC, is the threshold for high transmission.
The mask mandate in schools for students, teachers, school staff, and visitors won’t be enforced. The situation will be closely monitored and new pandemic measures will be re-evaluated from time to time. Meanwhile, everyone is advised to practice social distance, wearing face masks is highly recommended and large gatherings in indoor spaces should be avoided.
“While masks are no longer required at schools, they are recommended,” Davis said, “especially during those first few weeks, when students are mingling again after the three-month break.”