Long Beach, CA - In alignment with the State of California, and amid a robust vaccine, testing and treatment infrastructure for COVID-19, the Long Beach City Council approved with an 8 to 0 vote to end the City’s local COVID-19 emergency proclamation during the Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, Council meeting, effective immediately. The City’s Health Department will continue to manage the necessary resources to address this ongoing public health burden.
"As we bring an end to the local state of emergency for COVID-19, I want to express my deep appreciation to all the City departments who worked tirelessly to support our residents during this unprecedented time,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “Their commitment to our community has been nothing short of remarkable. We remain committed to doing all we can to keep our community safe, and we ask for your continued support and cooperation as we navigate this ongoing pandemic together."
Since the start of the pandemic, the City has conducted more than 1.1 million COVID-19 tests, established a local distribution site to manage COVID-19 resources and provided nearly six million pieces of personal protective equipment citywide. The City maintained a public data dashboard with key COVID-19 indicators and implemented emergency congregate and non-congregate shelters as well as isolation and quarantine sites. The City also provided guidance and assistance on health orders to over 10,000 businesses, 178 long-term care facilities and 234 schools/daycares. Additionally, nearly 500,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, by both the City and private providers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic brought forth many unforeseen circumstances and challenges that our City staff faced head-on and with unwavering dedication to our community,” said City Manager Tom Modica. “I thank our entire City staff and commend them for their commitment to public service.”
“As we announce the end of the local COVID-19 emergency, we remain steadfast in our commitment to maintain access to vaccines, testing and other critical resources for our community,” said Health Department Director Kelly Colopy. “We will do all we can to support our residents and ensure their health and safety during this ongoing pandemic. We ask for the community's support and cooperation as we continue to navigate this ever-changing landscape together.”
The City and Health Department remain dedicated to actively working with federal, state and local agencies to maintain access to vaccines, testing and therapeutics, with the goal of preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19 among the community, with particular concern for populations who are at higher risk. Even as the local health emergency comes to an end, the Health Department is committed to updating the COVID-19 dashboard once a week until further notice. The Health Department also will continue to operate vaccine and testing sites for the foreseeable future, although most of this work will eventually become the responsibility of healthcare providers.
“We have learned, over the past three years, that cases ebb and flow, and we may have further surges or periods of increased transmission,” said Dr. Anissa Davis, Long Beach City Health Officer. “People will need to continue to assess their own tolerance for risk and take steps, as needed, based on their health circumstances.”
People are urged to take common-sense measures to minimize getting sick and spreading illness, including:
To date, 1,387 people in Long Beach have died as a result of this disease, and at least one case of COVID-19 has been reported in Long Beach every day since March 15, 2020. Although cases have significantly decreased compared to the previous winter surge, COVID-19 is still causing severe disease with more than 350 hospitalizations among Long Beach residents this current winter season. It is important to continue taking appropriate precautions to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect ourselves and our communities. The City has memorialized some of the residents whose lives were lost to COVID-19 via its digital memorial with plans for a physical memorial in progress.
Residents can stay up to date with the latest information and resources by visiting longbeach.gov/covid19 or following @LongBeachCity and @LBHealthDept on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.