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Starting Tuesday, there will be new, updated mask guidance for Long Beach residents

LONG BEACH, CA — On September 20, 2022, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued updated Guidance for the Use of Face Masks, which will go into effect on September 23, 2022, shifting from a strong recommendation to wear face coverings in all indoor settings to a more nuanced approach based on the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels.

Community Levels for COVID-19 are derived based on hospitalization rates, hospital bed occupancy, and COVID-19 case rates. Long Beach has been in the Low COVID-19 Community Level since September 1. The City of Long Beach will comply with the new CDPH face mask guidelines.

Masking is no longer compulsory in public transit and transportation hubs in the city, effective immediately. The current COVID-19 Community Level will serve as the basis for masking suggestions in indoor public spaces, including public transit and indoor public transportation hubs.

  • When the City is in the Low COVID-19 Community Level:
    • People may wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by their own personal level of risk.
    • People at high risk should consider wearing a mask in crowded indoor public places.
  • When the City is in the Medium COVID-19 Community Level:
    • Everyone should consider wearing a mask in indoor public places.
    • It is recommended that people at high risk wear a mask in indoor public places.
    • People who have household or social contact with a person at high risk are recommended to wear a mask when indoors with that person, in order to protect people with underlying health conditions or otherwise at high risk of severe disease.
  • When the City is in the High COVID-19 Community Level:
    • It is recommended that everyone wear a mask in indoor public places.
    • It is strongly recommended that people at high risk wear a mask in indoor public places.
    • People who have household or social contact with a vulnerable person are recommended to wear a mask when inside with that person, in order to protect those who are at high risk of severe disease.

Masking regulations in certain non-health care, high-risk environments, such as correctional facilities, shelters, and cooling and heating centers, are now based on COVID-19 Community Levels. In these circumstances, masking in non-clinical locations is optional when the COVID-19 Community Level is Low, provided there have been no recent outbreaks. When the COVID-19 Community Level is Medium or High, facilities are required to maintain or reestablish universal masking measures for all personnel and residents, regardless of the presence of outbreaks.

The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) now provides the Long Beach COVID-19 Community Level, which will be updated weekly on the COVID-19 website.

Regardless of immunization status or COVID-19 Community Level, masking is mandatory in all health care settings, long-term care facilities, including adult and senior care facilities.

The CDPH and Health Department continue to strongly recommend the following at all COVID-19 Community Levels (Low, Medium, and High):

  • Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.
  • Wearing a mask for 10 days after testing positive or being exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Staying home when sick and knowing what to do when infected with COVID-19, including seeking treatment early.
  • Testing if you are sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  • Improving ventilation and air quality in indoor settings.
  • Washing hands regularly.
  • Signing up for CA Notify to receive alerts when you have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Everyone should ensure that their mask provides a proper fit and filtration. Respirators like N95s, KN95s and KN94s are best.

As of Sept. 22, the 7-day case rate was 131.1 per 100,000, the 7-day hospitalization rate was 3.4 per 100,000, and 4.2% of inpatient beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients.

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