Things are Changing in Long Beach

Scenes from the Rapid Assessment Clinic in LBCC (Friday April 10)

How the City is Staying Ahead

 

The date was March 4. Robert Garcia made the decision to place Long Beach in a state of emergency. At that time there were no known cases of coronavirus in the city. The declaration of a state of emergency was made to allow for the coordination of agencies across the city, streamline staffing, accelerate emergency planning, allow for future reimbursement by the state and federal governments and most importantly, allow for the means to help educate the public in proper hygiene and how to act in case that COVID-19 popped up in the community.

In an outbreak, things can change in a matter of weeks, days, even hours. Staying ahead and preparing for the inevitable is the only way to properly manage such a situation. “We need to be ready and continue to increase preparedness throughout the city,” City Health Officer Anissa Davis said in the city’s press release that day. “The global crisis continues to evolve on a daily basis.” 

Since that announcement, the whole situation has changed. Streets once swarming with life now remain desolate. Businesses deemed by the city as nonessential have been forced to close, restaurants have closed all dine in operations and workers wear face masks per the order placed by mayor Garcia ordering all essential workers to wear masks that cover their faces. An order that does not only apply to workers but also customers. 

Restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies can now deny you service if you are not wearing a face mask or cloth facial covering.

All public schools have been closed for the remainder of the school year and many schools (including Poly) have since moved to online learning opportunities, “virtual enrichment” as they call it. AP exams will take place in your own home and the thought of graduation and walking the stage is an uncertainty for the whole class of 2020. 

These are all things that on March 4 would’ve sounded absurd to anyone living in Long Beach. And now, a little over one month later, we find ourselves in this new reality. 

As of now, the only purpose of the National Guard in Long Beach is to help provide humanitarian aid to two of the shelters set up to help homeless citizens during this crisis. 50 members of the National Guard 325th Company arrived on April 10. While they are dressed in their camouflage uniform, they remain unarmed while in Long Beach.

After the city’s emergency declaration on March 4, local National Guard officials offered assistance and support services. The city sent out a formal request on April 2 to them. 

As well as offering services to the homeless shelters, National Guard personnel will also be assisting  medical staff at the RAC (photographed above), monitoring the physical distancing of crowds as well as logistical support for local officials.