PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

7/15/2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 071521-3
Subject:
City of Long Beach Sees Significant Rise in COVID-19 Cases
All residents are urged to take additional precautions and become vaccinated if eligible
Contact:
City of Long Beach Joint Information Center
562.570.NEWS
jic@longbeach.gov





Long Beach, CA - In the month since California reopened, there has been a steady increase in cases, most of which are among the unvaccinated. This unfortunate trend has grown more serious in the past two weeks, as the average number of new cases per day has risen from 17 to 66 — a 288% increase. 

The positivity rate (percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive) is currently 3.8% and the case rate (how many new cases per 100,000 people) is 7.5, the highest since April 4, 2021. 

The increase in cases stems from a variety of factors that have created a snowball effect:

  • The delta variant is now in Southern California. This variant is much more highly transmissible. Whereas the average person with the original strain of COVID-19 would infect 2.5 others, on average, in the same environment, a person infected with the delta variant could infect nearly seven other people.
  • Vaccines against COVID-19 are highly effective, but as this highly-transmissible new variant takes hold among unvaccinated people, more breakthrough cases are occurring.

Importance of Vaccines
Scientific evidence shows that vaccines continue to be an important tool in preventing COVID-19 cases. Vaccines also lower the risk for severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths. In June, 84% of new cases occurred among people who have not been vaccinated. Hospitalizations have remained low to date, with 14 Long Beach residents currently hospitalized. Twelve of the 14 people currently hospitalized are unvaccinated. Historically, those who become hospitalized do so about two weeks after infection.  The City’s Health and Human Services Department (Health Department) is tracking hospitalization rates closely.

People who are not yet vaccinated should not be discouraged from becoming vaccinated due to the possibility of breakthrough cases. Of all the people who have been vaccinated in California since January, only 0.05% have experienced a breakthrough COVID-19 case, and most had minor symptoms or no symptoms at all.

“There is a common misconception when it comes to vaccines, from measles to COVID-19, that the vaccine protects you 100%, and cases of vaccine-preventable diseases never occur in vaccinated people,” said City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis. “But this is not the way it works. No vaccine works 100%. There’s always a small chance that you can get an infection, even if you’re vaccinated. The reason why we’re seeing cases of COVID-19 in vaccinated people isn’t because the vaccine doesn’t work. It’s because there’s just so much of it around in the community.” 

As new variants become more prevalent in Southern California, the Health Department encourages all people, regardless of vaccine status, to continue to take safety precautions appropriate to the situation, including wearing a mask when in crowded indoor settings where distancing is not possible and the vaccination status of those around them is unknown. While the vaccine is effective at preventing severe illness and death, other steps such as distancing and wearing a face-covering indoors remain good, common-sense approaches to reduce the spread of the virus in Long Beach.

Protecting the Health of All Long Beach Residents
The City is committed to protecting the health of everyone who lives in Long Beach. Data show racial discrepancies among new cases, as well as a rise in cases in children, including those too young to be eligible for the vaccine.

  • While 13% of the total Long Beach population is Black, Black residents are overrepresented in terms of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations - since June 15, 17% of cases and 27% of hospitalizations were among Black residents.
  • Most new COVID-19 cases (88%) are among adults 18 or older. However, 11.6% of recent cases have occurred among children, and 7.1% of cases have occurred in people younger than 12, who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.
  • Since June 15, 13.6% of hospitalizations have occurred among those under 18.
  • Vaccine rates also show racial discrepancies: 43% of our Black community and 55% of our Latino community are vaccinated compared to more than 65% for our other community members. 

“We are only 47 days away from the first day of school here in Long Beach,” said Health and Human Services Director Kelly Colopy. “About 70,000 students attend school in the Long Beach Unified School District. Right now, only 40% of people ages 12 to 17 have been vaccinated. In order to protect kids as they return to school in person, we must make sure everyone 12 years old and older is vaccinated.”

The Health Department continues to aggressively work to make sure anyone who wants to be vaccinated is able to get a vaccine. A full schedule for July can be found online. The schedule for clinics for the next week (today, July 15 through Wednesday, July 21) is below:

Thursday, July 15:

  • Heartwell Park (5801 E. Parkcrest St.), 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 
  • Admiral Kidd Park (2125 Santa Fe Ave.),  9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Bixby Knolls Farmers’ Market (CVS Parking Lot, 4570 Atlantic Ave.), 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Long Beach Convention Center (300 E. Ocean Blvd.), noon to 6 p.m. 
  • Long Beach City College, Pacific Coast Campus (Corner of Orange Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, Parking Lot One), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Friday, July 16:

  • Granada Beach (5000 E. Ocean Blvd.), 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • MacArthur Park (1321 E. Anaheim St.), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Long Beach Convention Center (300 E. Ocean Blvd.), 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • Long Beach City College, Pacific Coast Campus (Corner of Orange Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, Parking Lot One), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Saturday, July 17:

  • Cabrillo High School (2001 Santa Fe Ave.), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Houghton Park (6301 Myrtle Ave.), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Recreation Park (4900 E. 7th St.), 9:30 a.m. to noon
  • Long Beach Convention Center (300 E. Ocean Blvd.), 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Monday, July 19:

  • Seaside Park (1401 Chestnut Ave.), 10 a.m. to noon
  • Admiral Kidd Park (2125 Santa Fe Ave.), 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Long Beach City College, Pacific Coast Campus (Corner of Orange Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, Parking Lot One), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Tuesday, July 20:

  • Granada Beach (5000 E. Ocean Blvd.), 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • MacArthur Park (1321 E. Anaheim St.), 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Long Beach Convention Center (300 E. Ocean Blvd.), noon to 5 p.m. (walk-up only)
  • Long Beach City College, Pacific Coast Campus (Corner of Orange Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, Parking Lot One), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Wednesday, July 21:

  • Colorado Lagoon (5200 E. Eliot St.), 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Houghton Park (6301 Myrtle Ave.), 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Second Street (5200 E. 2nd St.), 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 
  • Long Beach Convention Center (300 E. Ocean Blvd.), noon to 5 p.m. (walk-up only)
  • Long Beach City College, Pacific Coast Campus (Corner of Orange Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, Parking Lot One), 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

For information about the City’s vaccination locations and hours of operation, people may visit longbeach.gov/vaxlb, email Covid19Vaccine@longbeach.gov or call 562.570.INFO. 

Appointments are not required, but people interested in scheduling an appointment may do so by visiting the State’s vaccination portal, MyTurn.ca.gov, or by calling the Vaccine Information Line at 562.570.4636. 

Drugstores, doctor’s offices and pharmacies throughout the city also offer the COVID-19 vaccine. All vaccines are administered free of charge and have been provided directly by the federal government. No identification is needed to make an appointment or to be seen without an appointment.

For the latest information on COVID-19, with details on all that the City of Long Beach is doing to keep our residents safe, visit longbeach.gov/COVID19 and follow @LongBeachCity on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. People may also visit longbeach.gov/COVID19data for up to date information regarding cases and vaccines in Long Beach.

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