(Jan. 13,2021, 6:10 p.m.) -- LA County's Dept. of Public Health (which doesn't legally govern Long Beach which has its own Health Dept.) has issued a bluntly stated warning today (Jan. 13) that LA County's COVID-19 surge "has contributed to a surge in outbreaks at workplaces across the county, including grocery stores, warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and many other workplaces where people come together on a daily basis."
"The largest increase is among general worksites, which includes warehouses, manufacturing facilities and logistics companies. In just over a month, outbreaks at these worksites increased from 9 per week on November 1, to 44 per week on December 6, nearly a fivefold increase," an LA County Public Health Dept. release stated.
The County Health agency said it "has also experienced an increase in outbreaks in schools and daycare settings. Starting in the middle of November, outbreaks increased from about 20 outbreaks to a total of 70 outbreaks by mid-December. And while almost all the outbreaks were small and well-contained, dozens of staff and a small number of students were affected."
LBUSD's COVID-19 Digital Dashboard today (Jan. 13) indicates a total of 204 LBUSD confirmed COVID-19 cases since Sept. 1 among employees (156), students (33) plus visitors/vendors (15) with only preschool Childhood Development Centers, Kids Clubs and other preschool programs currently operating.) Today (Jan. 13), three more locations (Tincher CDC, plus Elm and Smith High Schools which are "head start" locations) notified parents/guardians of at least one COVID-19 case on their campuses.
LB's independently operated Health Dept. has previously strongly urged residents to avoid interactions beyond their family settings unless absolutely necessary but, to our knowledge, hasn't issued a warning with such specificity about sources of virus spread.
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[LA County Health Dept. Jan. 13 release text] The County is also experiencing increases in workplace outbreaks at food facilities which includes retail food outlets such as grocery stores and convenience stores as well as food manufacturing facilities. These increases reflect a pattern of transmission: from worksite to home and back to worksites. As the percentage of people who are positive with COVID-19 increase, there is a larger pool of infected people walking around without symptoms who now expose a greater and greater percentage of people to this virus.
Restaurants aren't mentioned in today's LA County release. Long Beach and LA County eateries have been barred for weeks from allowing indoor or outdoor dining (although take-out orders have been allowed.) Representatives of LB's restaurant industry have urged resumption of some on-site dining with what they contend are adequate COVID-19 precautions.
The County release reminded employees that if they "have concerns about your workplace following safety protocols that keep you and customers safe, you can anonymously call the customer call center at (888) 700-9995, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. To report violations online, visit: www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.
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