City seal courtesy of Long Beach

An important update on COVID-19 surge in Long Beach

The City of Long Beach continues to see an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases. This unfortunate trend, which also is happening across the county, region and state, could threaten hospital capacity and ultimately cost lives.

Long Beach area hospitalizations (Long Beach Memorial Hospital, St. Mary Medical Center, College Medical Center, Lakewood Regional Medical Center and Los Alamitos Medical Center) have grown by 366% since November 1, to 135. While the City monitors regional hospitalizations, we also track Long Beach residents who are hospitalized from COVID-19. That number has grown by 94% since Nov. 1.

Currently, there 64 Long Beach residents in the hospital. While the City has a plan for surge capacity if need be, hospital capacity is a crucial indicator. As of now, 59% of beds, not including pediatric beds, are in use in Long Beach hospitals. Intensive Care Units are at 64% of total capacity, and 43% of available ventilators are in use.

What’s more, Long Beach has seen an alarmingly steep rise in cases. Since Nov. 1, cases have climbed from 27 to 190 in daily reporting. and our case rate has risen from just 6.9 per 100,000 people, on Nov. 1, to 24.7 per 100,000 people as of Nov. 28 (this includes a 7 day lag, the state methodology).

And the increase is showing no sign of slowing down. Long Beach has recorded an additional 486 cases since Nov. 24, with approximately 700 more from the weekend that will be included in our total case count tomorrow. We expect the case rate number to increase significantly tomorrow once those cases are counted and the 5-day real-time-average is calculated.

Demand for testing continues to increase. The City administered 1,405 tests on Saturday and 1,352 on Sunday. It is also important to note that the City will not begin to see the implications of Thanksgiving weekend for about 10 days, and we expect to see additional hospital impacts 2-3 weeks from now.

This means that today’s data and testing demands are not only alarming in their raw numbers, but as implications of what history has shown us could come in the wake of these new cases.

The City will provide data after completing the analysis of the approximately 700 new positive cases. That data will help determine next steps for Long Beach, including changes to the health order based on this latest data.

This article was released by the City of Long Beach.