Long Beach tightens COVID restrictions amid unprecedented levels of cases, hospitalizations

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A few days after Los Angeles County enacted further restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19, cities like Long Beach that have independent public health departments enacted their own tailored rules.

This comes as Long Beach has seen unprecedented levels of coronavirus transmission and hospitalizations in recent weeks.

Public health officials have reported the average number of new COVID-19 cases was up by 213% by Nov. 1. Hospitalizations have also increased by more than 400%, from nearly 30 people on average to about 150.

L.A. County's health order, which only allows restaurants to prepare food to go, applies to about 10 million residents in the region except those in Pasadena or Long Beach - cities that have their own public health departments and can set their own rules.

Growing list of cities look to break away from LA County health department
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Following the recent restrictions on outdoor dining, the list of cities looking to break away from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is growing.



Long Beach, a city of about 460,000, also opted to close outdoor dining. It put in place its own stay-home order Wednesday that mostly mirrors the county's: urging people to stay inside as much as possible, further restricting capacity in stores and banning all public and private gatherings except for protests and religious services.

"We know that gatherings, when folks are coming together, is when a lot of the transmission is happening," said Mayor Robert Garcia, who lost both his parents to COVID-19 earlier this year.

Garcia said the issue is not just about hospital bed capacity, but also about access to quality healthcare for other non-virus-related emergencies.

"We can have endless amounts of beds, we can open up the convention center and put beds in there tomorrow, but if there aren't enough doctors and nurses to staff the beds, then care becomes worse," he said.

Meanwhile, the city of Pasadena, which has been less restrictive than L.A. County, on Tuesday announced new limits on activities after inspectors caught multiple violations of COVID-19 health protocols.

The city announced new limits which bring it closer - but not quite in line - with the county.

The biggest difference is that outdoor dining at restaurants is still allowed - but you may only be seated with others from within your own household. Restaurants must conspicuously post this restriction.

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The city of Pasadena, which has been less restrictive than Los Angeles County, has announced new limits on activities after inspectors caught multiple violations of COVID-19 health protocols.



The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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