The grandstands were packed Sunday for the 45th annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The city of Long Beach's public health officer, Dr. Anissa Davis, signed a declaration this afternoon, Thursday, banning all public events of more than 250 people in the city through the end of April.

The action follows an executive order Thursday morning requesting essentially the same thing from Gov. Gavin Newsom. Both actions were taken to try to prevent spread of the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

Long Beach's list includes the 46th annual Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, a Beach Streets University event, a Long Beach Symphony POPS! conference, the popular Touch-A-Truck event in Belmont Shore and many more.

Several organizations plan to reschedule later in the year, according to press releases. Officials at the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach said talks already have begun for a new race date.

"We are in conversation with the City of Long Beach, various race sanctioning bodies and the Long Beach Convention Center to discuss the viability of rescheduling this event at a later time in the year," a statement from the GPALB said. "If that is not possible, then we look forward to presenting the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 16-18, 2021. Further details about possible refunds or credits will be forthcoming."

Track construction is on hold for now, Chris Esslinger, GPALB director of communications, said.

A city release said the activity ban deadline of April 30 could change — either shorten or lengthen — with an order from Dr. Davis.

A full list of cancelled events is available at

—Harry Saltzgaver

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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