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Across the country, COVID-19 deaths are now 9/11-like events happening daily. Our state is facing an unprecedented challenge as cases sharply rise and hospitalizations become dangerously high.
Today, Governor Newsom announced a new Regional Stay at Home Order that becomes effective 24-hours after a region's remaining hospital ICU capacity reaches 15%. This guidance by the state is the right approach. Now cities and counties will move together as a region instead of having a patchwork of different orders and regulations.
Our region spans most of Southern California. We join cities from San Diego to Orange County to Los Angeles in this new phase of the pandemic. All of our jurisdictions will be subject to the state Health Order if ICU capacity in our region dips below 15%.
Once this threshold has been reached the following sectors will need to close throughout the Southern California region:
- In-person dining, including outdoors
- Personal care services
- Hair salons and barbershops
- Museums, zoos and aquariums
- Bars, breweries, wineries and distilleries
- Family entertainment centers
The following sectors may remain open when a remote option is not possible with appropriate infectious disease preventative measures including 100% masking and physical distancing:
- Critical infrastructure
- Schools that have previously received a waiver
- Non-urgent medical and dental care
- Child care
I know the decision to increase restrictions has a serious personal and financial impact on many residents and business owners. Our top priority must always be public health and also providing support to affected workers and businesses.
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We must do all we can to stay healthy and not overburden our hospitals so that those who need care most, can swiftly receive it—their lives are literally depending on it.
Once we get past this wave and begin distributing the vaccine that is soon to come, we will beat COVID-19. Next week, I'll be rolling out our local vaccine plan and what we are doing to prepare. Our Long Beach Health Department will be responsible for our local distribution and I look forward to sharing more soon.
In the meantime, know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We are close. Now is the time to double down on our efforts, stay home whenever possible, and wear a mask around people outside your home. More information on the recent orders can be found at www.longbeach.gov/covid19.
Thank you and stay safe,
Mayor Robert Garcia
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