Long Beach has confirmed eight more cases of the coronavirus, officials announced Tuesday, March 31; the total tally in the city so far is now up to 123.

Long Beach has reported one death so far, a woman in her 50s with underlying health conditions.

The news came a day after Long Beach announced that it had surpassed 100 cases — though Mayor Robert Garcia emphasized in a Monday afternoon press briefing, as he has throughout the public-health crisis, that the city’s number of actual cases is likely much higher than the number that has been confirmed.

On the same day in Los Angeles County, the first case of a healthcare worker who died from the novel coronavirus was confirmed by health officials, though no details were provided other than the person was over the age of 60.

Health officials on Tuesday also announced 10 additional deaths and 548 new cases, the largest jump in the county’s ongoing tally of COVID-19 cases and deaths thus far.

The healthcare worker who died was included in Monday’s tally. The number of confirmed cases countywide, now at 3,011, has tripled from a week ago. A total of 54 people have died so far.

Garcia also said Monday that the Health Department currently offers drive-thru testing for COVID-19, though it is by appointment and with a doctor’s referral only. In Tuesday’s statement, officials the “at-risk populations that are on the frontlines of this pandemic,” including healthcare workers and first responders, are being prioritized for the drive-thru testing.

Roughly 25 to 30 tests are being conducted at that location daily, according to the statement.

COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, is a respiratory disease that causes fever, a cough and trouble breathing. While most people will develop mild symptoms, the disease can cause more severe symptoms — and, as the increasing death toll illustrates, prove fatal — especially among the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

To stem the rate of people contracting the virus, public health officials have urged folks to keep at least 6 feet between themselves and others.

Long Beach has also announced an increasingly strict string of closures to support social distancing and combat the virus. The most recent, on Saturday, extended the closures of non-essential businesses through April 19 and added stores that exclusively sell personal care products, like beauty supply stores, to the list of those that must shutter; Saturday’s order also prohibited funerals.

Public facilities, including beaches, recreational trails and skate parks, are closed through at least May 1.

“We want you to be socially connected, via phone and video and other ways,” City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis said Monday. “But be physically apart.”

Load comments