Long Beach Hospitals prepare for rush of patients among COVID-19 outbreak

As of April 8, Long Beach has a total of 256 confirmed cases of Novel Coronavirus, a number which Mayor Garcia says is expected to rise exponentially in the coming weeks. All businesses deemed non-essential are closed down and those that are still open, such as grocery stores, restaurants or banks are putting tight restrictions on human interaction such as placing markers at entrances and checkout lines at six foot intervals to promote social distancing. 

Hospitals and healthcare facilities are rushing to prepare for an unavoidable rush of patients. Friday, April 3, Mayor Robert Garcia sent out an email to city residents explaining the steps these hospitals are taking in preparation. The convention center has already been converted into a 100 bed hospital and there is speculation of even using the Queen Mary as a medical facility. 

“We are doing everything we can to prepare for the patient surge in our hospitals in the weeks ahead,” Garcia said. 

Even with all the measures in place, cases of the virus are still surging in the United States. Recently, the US passed both Italy and China in confirmed cases topping at a staggering 300,000 people testing positive. California has seen 14,000 of the 375,000 cases in the States, even though Governor Gavin Newsom has been strict on enforcing a new “safer at home” initiative and encouraging citizens to remain inside their houses only allowing leave for work and essential shopping.  

Due to prior limitations to testing, the number of COVID positive patients was a mystery but as a new drive through testing site opens at the Pacific LBCC campus, the number of confirmed cases are likely to rise. 

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it.

Mayor Garcia offers this advice: “If you want to help us stop the emergency that could face our hospitals in the weeks ahead, we need you to stay home if possible and social distance.”