Another five Long Beach residents have died from coronavirus-related causes, officials announced Tuesday, Aug. 25, bringing the city’s death toll to 208.
The city also reported 94 new coronavirus cases. There have been 10,241 cases identified in Long Beach since the pandemic began.
But about 9,112 people — or 89% of those who have tested positive — have since recovered.
There were 79 Long Beach residents in hospitals with the virus on Tuesday.
Long Beach met all but one indicator the state requires to be removed from its coronavirus monitoring list.
The requirements the city meets are:
Administering at least 150 tests per 100,000 people each day;
Having at least 20% of intensive care unit beds available;
Having at least 25% of ventilators available;
Keeping the change in the three-day average of hospitalizations to 10% or lower; and
Having a positive testing rate of 8% or lower.
Each of the measures must be maintained for at least two weeks straight to be removed from the watch list. Long Beach’s positive testing rate has only been at 8% or below since Wednesday, Aug. 19.
The indicator that Long Beach does not meet is its case rate per 100,000 people, which the state requires to be 100 or lower. Long Beach’s case rate on Tuesday was 168 per 100,000 people — far above the state’s threshold, but on the decline.
On Monday, the case rate was 171 per 100,000 people, according to the city’s online dashboard.
Last week, it fell from 231 cases per 100,000 people on Monday to 180 cases per 100,000 people on Friday.
But even when Long Beach does meet all six requirements for two weeks straight, it’s not clear that further reopenings would be allowed. That’s because the state tracks the indicators at a county, not a city, level.
The case rate in Los Angeles County — which also meets all of the same indicators as Long Beach — was 197.5 per 100,000 on Tuesday, according to the state’s Public Health Department. So it’s possible that Long Beach will have to wait to move forward with reopenings — even after the city meets all six requirements — for the county’s case rate to come down.
LA County’s Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, though, seems confident that the county is on the right track.
“Thankfully, the work we have all done as a community and the sacrifices we are making are working,” she said in a Monday statement. “If we can maintain this lower rate of transmission, it means that we could begin to think about schools, more businesses reopening or, someday, moving their operations back indoors.”