|Total positives (red dots) and deaths (black dots)||Daily new reported positive cases
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|(June 26, 2020, 5:55 p.m.) -- The City of LB says in a release today (June 26) that July 4th block parties are prohibited this year for reasons it says are similar to professional fireworks displays that likewise won't be allowed at the QM (July 4) and Alamitos Bay (July 3) consistent with a state of CA COVID-19 health order. "Events like fireworks shows and block parties encourage large gatherings, and such gatherings are not permitted, per the State of California," the City release says.
On a related LB seasonal tradition, the LB's Dept. of Parks/Rec has announced on its website: "Based on the large gatherings, hands-on activities that require sharing of equipment and materials, and inability to implement physical distancing protocols for these events, the Municipal Band Concert Series will not be offered this summer."
During a June 25 City of LB webcast briefing, the City's Dir. of Health and Human Services, Kelly Colopy, and Mayor Robert Garcia both voiced concerns over increases in the percentage of positive test results [indicating the virus is now circulating at high levels locally despite LB implementing some of the region's more restrictive measures.]
Data elsewhere indicates that Orange County, San Bernardino and Riverside County areas -- which allowed less restrictive reopenings -- are now among areas leading the state in COVID-19 increases.
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At the same time (and making data difficult to interpret) the officially allowed reopening of many L.A. County (and LB) businesses collided with large protest demonstrations (and looting) in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Long Beach in which a number of protestors (and looters) shrugged face mask and social distancing requirements.
Long Beach city officials didn't prohibit the protest demonstrations (first amendment protected activity) and instead offered mainly muted cautions urging participants to try and practice COVID-19 protective measures.
Some have criticized Sacramento and LB officials for having allowed the protest marches (first amendment protected activity) while banning July 4th fireworks events, arguing the latter are more than entertainment in conveying a political message that deserves 1st amendment protections. .
Among those most outspoken in accusing the Sac'to of a double-standard and City Hall of docility in accepting it has been Ben Goldberg, a member of LB's Parks/Recreation Commission who in his personal (not city appointive position) is among the leadership of LB Area Republicans.
Starting in late April, Mr. Goldberg began pressing for swifter reopenings of LB businesses than allowed by Sacramento or City Hall. He argued that economic damages from the COVID-19 closures exceed the virus' costs/risks (consistent with President Donald Trump's stance that government's response to COVID-19 shouldn't create more damage than the virus itself.
Mr. Goldberg's social network dispatches drew some pushback but received mainly supportive responses from respondents in LB and beyond who variously criticized state and local restrictions as irrational and unwarranted . Among those voicing comments generally in support pf Mr. Goldberg's views on swifter busiiness reopenings was former LB Councilman Gary DeLong (2006-2014). Some respondents to Mr. Goldberg's coments urged him to consider running for Mayor.
In May, Mr. Goldberg mentioned that he'd enjoyed using golf courses and patronizing some restaurants in OC and inland areas which, at the time, allowed speedier reopenings than LB. Some of those areas are now reporting sharp rises in COVID-19 cases.
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