Coronavirus: New health order issued for Long Beach nursing homes amid surge in COVID-19 deaths

Long Beach is issuing a new health order to help protect seniors from the spread of coronavirus as an alarming number of deaths in the city have been reported at nursing homes.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Long Beach is issuing a new health order to help protect seniors from COVID-19 as an alarming number of deaths in the city have been reported at nursing homes.

Among the 18 coronavirus-related deaths in the city, 13 have been confirmed at nursing homes. Long Beach confirmed 379 coronavirus cases as of Wednesday.

Health officials implemented new guidelines Wednesday to help slow the spread of the potentially deadly infection at nursing homes, including temperatures screenings, limiting entry to facilities to essential personnel such as doctors and nurses, and requiring face coverings for residents and staff inside nursing homes.

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"This really just provides a framework for all of us being on the same page and having something that we're pointing to," said Dr. Anissa Davis, City of Long Beach health officer. "Because there's numerous best practices coming from different organizations, so now there's one uniform guide."

Officials say the city will provide additional masks and other items to facilities where there are not sufficient amounts of personal protective equipment.

Testing is also being prioritized for those at the facilities who are displaying symptoms.

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