Bits 'n' Pieces

COVID-19 Deaths Drops Average Age of 13 Years

The average age of a person who dies of COVID-19 in Long Beach is now 59 years old, a decrease of 13 years compared with data from March 2020 through July 2021, where the average age of COVID-19-related deaths was 72.

The data, compiled by epidemiologists in Long Beach’s Department of Health and Human Services, show that the pandemic is now causing more severe disease among younger, unvaccinated residents. Additionally, the figures show that there’s been an increased disparity in gender. Since July 2021, 70% of fatalities have been males, whereas deaths were more evenly split among genders (58% male) before that time.

The city began to see a surge in COVID-19 infections in July, mostly among those who were unvaccinated, when the more highly transmissible Delta variant became dominant in Long Beach. While the infection rates and hospitalizations have begun leveling off, the effects of the surge are now being felt in the loss of life.

“Younger people must be vaccinated not only to protect the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, but also to protect themselves,” said city health officer Dr. Anissa Davis. “Please wear your mask indoors and get vaccinated if you’re eligible. The life you save may be your own.”

To date, 75.3% of Long Beach residents 12 or older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine and 65.1% of those 12 or older are fully vaccinated (one dose of Johnson & Johnson or two doses of Pfizer or Moderna). The most highly vaccinated group by age is older adults (65 and older) – more than 99% of that age group has received at least one dose. By contrast, 60.5% of people 18-34 have received at least one vaccine dose. More women (52.4%) than men (46.8%) are vaccinated with at least one dose.

Vaccine clinics take place six days per week across Long Beach and mobile vaccine vans can visit those who are unable to travel to a city vaccine site. The vaccine clinic schedule is posted in English, Spanish, Khmer and Tagalog at longbeach.gov/vaxlb. People also may call (562) 570-4636 or email Covid19Vaccine@longbeach.gov for assistance.

Fundraising Campaign to Rebuild Playground

Partners of Parks Long Beach (POP) announced their campaign to raise $1,000,000 to fund the rebuild of the nautical-themed playground structure at Admiral Kidd Park, located at 2125 Santa Fe Avenue in Long Beach.

West Long Beach residents suffered a devastating loss in the early-morning hours of July 18, 2021, when their local playground was severely damaged by fire. The original, nautical-themed playground opened in 2011 as part of a park-expansion project.

“Our goal is to rebuild the playground with additional enhancements to 2021 standards and improvements based on input we received from the community,” said Parks, Recreation and Marine Director Brent Dennis.

Admiral Kidd Park is in an already park-poor community. The park site was formerly used by the armed forces during World War II, according to the city’s website. In commemoration, the park was named for Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, which influenced the nautical-themed design of the playground.

The campaign, beginning Sept. 1 and ending Dec. 1, includes a naming opportunity for the top funding level of $250,000. Funding levels go all the way to the $2,500 level and includes opportunities for community members to purchase commemorative bricks on the walkway approaching the playground.

Visit https://tinyurl.com/HELPKIDD for funding levels and to donate online.

First Case of West Nile Virus Reported

The first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) this mosquito season was reported in Long Beach this week. The patient, in their 40s, was diagnosed with neuroinvasive illness and is currently recovering at home.

“As we approach Labor Day weekend enjoyment, this is an important reminder for people to continue to take steps to avoid mosquito bites,” said city Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis. “Everyone needs to take steps to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.”

There have been 32 cases of WNV reported in California this year, with five cases reported in LA County. No mosquitoes in Long Beach have been found to be positive for WNV thus far this season.

WNV is transmitted through the bite of an infected Culex mosquito. Signs and symptoms of WNV may include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting and headache. Most people infected have no symptoms; approximately one in 150 may develop more serious disease, such as brain inflammation or paralysis. Persons with these symptoms should seek immediate care.

Long Beach health officials are advising residents to take the following precautions:

  • Prevent mosquito bites by applying insect repellent with EPA-registered active ingredients DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or lemon eucalyptus before you go outside
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if spending time outside during dawn and dusk. WNV-carrying mosquitoes are most active during those times
  • Install or repair door and window screens
  • Dump and drain standing water around your home
  • Report mosquitoes and learn more about mosquito prevention by visiting www.longbeach.gov/mosquitoes

Report dead birds online or call 877-WNV-BIRD (968-2473)

The Long Beach Health and Human Services Department’s Vector Control Program along with partner agencies, Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District and Compton Creek Mosquito Abatement District continue to treat areas with high populations of mosquitoes throughout the city on a daily basis. While these agencies are doing everything they can to control the mosquito population, the public still plays an important role by stopping mosquitoes from breeding in and around their homes and reporting breeding in neighborhoods and other public areas.

For more information on how to protect yourself from mosquito bites, visit www.longbeach.gov/mosquitoes, or call the Mosquito Hotline at (562) 570-4132. For more information on West Nile virus, visit www.longbeach.gov/WNV.

Kindergarten Readiness Program via Library

The Long Beach Public Library (LBPL) is launching Dive Into School, a kindergarten readiness program offered in-person and online. Registration opened Sept. 1 for children who will enroll in kindergarten in 2022.

An online version of Dive Into School is available at no cost starting Sept. 1 on the library’s Beanstack app, which allows participants to complete kindergarten readiness activities, track their progress and earn prizes along the way.

In-person Dive Into School workshops are free of charge and take place on the second Saturday of the month at the Billie Jean King Main Library (200 W. Broadway) starting Sept. 11 and ending Dec. 11. The 45-minute workshops are offered in English at 10:30 a.m. and Spanish at 11:30 a.m. Advanced registration is required and the number of participants will be limited.

The workshops and online program are designed to teach age-appropriate language, literacy, math and social-emotional skills that children should acquire before entering kindergarten. Participants in the Dive Into School program will learn and practice those basic skills and earn badges and prizes as they progress. Families can register, complete and track their program activities online or stop by any LBPL location to pick up a physical program tracker.

For more information about registration for Dive Into School or any Long Beach Public Library program or service, visit lbpl.org or call (562) 570-7500.

LBCC Oversight Committee Seeks New Member

The application period to apply to become a member of the Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) Citizens’ Oversight Committee (COC) has been extended through Sept. 30.

The COC, which oversees District bond projects, is seeking a resident within the LBCCD district boundaries who is involved in an organization that advocates for taxpayers.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and reside within the LBCCD boundary, which includes the cities of Avalon, Lakewood, Long Beach and Signal Hill. Applicants also need to be current members of a Bona-Fide Taxpayers’ Association, which is any current and active organization that advocates for taxpayers. This would include any community or neighborhood association, business improvement district, city commission, or any other city-sponsored group that is active within the District boundaries.

The LBCCD Board of Trustees will be asked to approve the new member at its Nov. 17 meeting. The term of service for the new appointee is Nov. 18, 2021, through June 30, 2023. The COC has two mandatory meetings each year and may schedule others as needed. The next COC meeting date after the appointment will be Jan. 31, 2022.

The COC oversees both Measure E, a $440 million bond measure approved by the voters in 2008 and Measure LB, an $850 million bond measure approved by the voters in 2016. Funds are used exclusively for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation or replacement of LBCCD facilities, or the acquisition or lease of real property for use by the District.

Complete information about the bond measures, the COC and the application form can be found online at https://www.lbcc.edu/citizens-oversight-committee. Community members can call (562) 938-4540 with questions.

FirstNet Becomes Grand Prix of Long Beach Sponsor

FirstNet, Built with AT&T, has joined the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach as an official sponsor.

FirstNet is the only nationwide, high-speed broadband communications platform dedicated to and purpose-built for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community. Shaped by the vision of Congress and the first responder community following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, FirstNet was created based on the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation for the establishment of a single, interoperable network for public safety. FirstNet is a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) – an independent agency within the federal government.

As an Associate Sponsor at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, FirstNet will receive visibility on-track and on television with signage at key locations on the iconic 11-turn Acura Grand Prix course, as well as space in the Lifestyle Expo and will offer race fans Free Friday vouchers which can be exchanged for Friday, Sept. 24 tickets.

The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach will be headlined by the season finale of the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES, as well as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. In addition, the weekend will include the Super Drift Challenge under the lights on Friday and Saturday nights; SPEED Energy Stadium Super Trucks, and the new-for-2021 Historic Formula Atlantic Challenge and Global Time Attack events.

Fans can select and pay for their Grand Prix seats, parking and paddock passes online at gplb.com or by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 827-7333. Also featured on gplb.com is the latest Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach news and racetrack information, photos and ongoing announcements of special race week activities.

Category:

Add new comment

Beachcomber

Copyright 2021 Beeler & Associates.

All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced or transmitted – by any means – without publisher's written permission.