Terrace Plaza sign

The sign in front of the Terrace Plaza instructs residents where to get updated information on the coronavirus in Long Beach.

Long Beach officials reported Thursday, March 26, that two more firefighters have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of infected firefighters to 10.

Neither of the newly confirmed firefighters live in Long Beach, so they are not included in the city’s overall tally, which was up by 13 cases Thursday. The total confirmed cases in Long Beach so far is now 54.

Eight people have recovered from the virus, officials said.

On Wednesday, March 25, officials announced eight firefighters, all of whom worked at Fire Station 11 in North Long Beach, tested positive for the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.

A city spokeswoman said Thursday afternoon that Fire Station 11 was fully disinfected after shutting down Wednesday and reopened at 11 a.m. Thursday. The station was not yet fully staffed; that was expected to happen later Thursday, she said.

Fire Station 11 personnel were still being deployed from Station 12, which is about a mile-and-a-half northeast of Station 11.

The condition of the two firefighters who most recently tested positive was not immediately clear; on Wednesday, Mayor Robert Garcia said the eight who were confirmed to have the virus at that point were self-isolated at home and “in good spirits.”

Thursday’s tally was the latest in a string of significant increases; Long Beach reported four new cases Monday, seven on Tuesday and 13 on Wednesday.

Garcia has emphasized throughout the public health crisis that because of a lack of testing, the actual number of COVID-19 cases in Long Beach is likely much higher than the confirmed count.

He also said during a Wednesday afternoon briefing the trend of a growing number of cases being reported each day could continue.

“If we do not flatten the curve immediately, this number will continue to increase and exponentially grow over time,” he said. “You can also expect (Wednesday’s) number — 41 — will continue to increase exponentially, possibly.”

COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019, is caused by a virus named SARS-CoV-2. Symptoms associated with the respiratory disease, which appear two-to-14 days after exposure, include fever, a cough and shortness of breath. While the virus poses a potential danger no matter a person’s age, most people — particularly healthy young adults — will experience mild symptoms; still, the disease can have severe symptoms and, as the rising death toll indicates, prove fatal, especially among the elderly and those with underlying health problems.

“The treatment of these firefighters, along with all of our current positive cases, remains our highest priority,” City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis said in a Wednesday statement. “We are aware of the impact of these results on our community and understand the significant concerns this news brings. We are working diligently to identify potential situations where additional exposure may have occurred.”

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