COVID-19 News

Rapid Assessment Clinic Launched at LBCC Campus

The City of Long Beach launched a Rapid Assessment Clinic to provide medical assistance to people who might otherwise feel compelled to visit an emergency room for their medical conditions.

“This new Rapid Assessment Clinic will serve our community and create much needed space in our hospital emergency rooms,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “People who need free care can get it fast and safely.”

The no-cost clinic, located at the Long Beach City College Pacific Coast Campus, will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, until further notice.

The Rapid Assessment Clinic is available to individuals who are not experiencing flu-like symptoms on a walk-in basis. No appointment is necessary. Patients can obtain assessment and treatment for common ailments such as earaches and urinary tract infections.

They can also obtain and renew prescriptions for common medications such as oral contraception, and medications for hypertension, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), thyroid issues, cholesterol, diabetes, depression and allergies. Those needing prescription renewals are urged to bring a list of their current medications with dosages and/or pill bottles if they have them.

People who arrive with moderate flu-like symptoms, including a cough, fever without rash or sore throat will also be evaluated on site. These patients will leave the clinic with a patient care plan.

The clinic will not perform X-rays or fill prescriptions on-site.

Drive-through, appointment-only COVID-19 testing will be available for those who need it, in an area adjacent to the Rapid Assessment Clinic. Interested individuals should visit http://longbeach.gov/health/diseases-and-condition/information-on/corona... and answer several pre-screening questions. Testing will continue to be prioritized for individuals who are symptomatic, those who have underlying health conditions, or are 65 years or older. The city expects to test approximately 100 people per day initially.

Test results take approximately 48 hours to process. Long Beach Health Department case investigators will call individuals whose test results are positive. Individuals whose test results are negative will be notified by letter via the United States Postal Service.

“The launch of the Rapid Assessment Clinic was a huge success,” said Public Health Emergency Management Director Sandy Wedgeworth. “In the first few hours, approximately 50 people were assessed and several of those were referred for COVID-19 testing. The average time a patient spent in the tent was 10 minutes, so we’re really staying true to our promise of appropriate, expedited care.”

Free parking is available in the college campus parking lot near Orange Avenue, north of Pacific Coast Highway. Signage and staff will direct individuals accordingly.

The clinic is staffed by members of the Long Beach Medical Reserve Corps which consists of volunteer non-medical and medical professionals from the community, including public health professionals, doctors, nurses, medical assistants and nurse practitioners. Individuals interested in volunteering, should visit longbeach.gov/MRC.

Global Domestic Violence Behind Quarantine

The coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of people to remain under quarantine leaving there to be a global rise in domestic violence cases.

The Stay-At-Home orders are affecting those who are victims of domestic abuse as they are forced to remain under quarantine with their abuser everyday. NBC News requested data of domestic violence calls from 22 law enforcement agencies in the United States. Eighteen responded with seeing a rise in calls within the past month, aligning with the start of self quarantine.

The increase in domestic violence calls made to Houston police has increased by nearly 20 percent within the month. Calls to South Carolina police have increased by 35 percent, calls to North Carolina police have increased by 18 percent and calls to Phoenix police have increased by nearly 6 percent.

“I fully believe that the longer these stay-at-home orders [are] in place, the more of these calls we’re going to get,” Steve Casstevens, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police told NBC News.

Stats for Long Beach will not be available until mid-April, according to LBPD Officer Emily Garcia.

Another issue lies with victims fearing they will contract the virus if they leave their homes making it all the more difficult of reporting domestic abuse. Although The National Domestic Violence Hotline has reported an increase in calls, majority of those calls are COVID-19 related. Women have reported being beaten, strangled or threatened and are afraid of going to the hospital due to COVID-19.

“There is danger outside- it’s the COVID-19 pandemic- but when you have danger inside, you have someone who humiliates you, who strikes you, sometimes rapes you, assaults you, threatens you with death, obviously you have the right to go out,” French Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa, told NBC News.

Acknowledging that this is a global issue, France has seen a 30 percent increase in domestic violence, there has been a rise in emails for help by women in lockdown in Italy, and Paris has a 36 percent increase in domestic abuse.

Governments in European countries worry that victims are unable to seek help given that victims are enclosed with their abuser, leaving Italy’s largest domestic violence hotline to drop by nearly 55 percent. Governments in European countries are delivering ways victims can seek help during the lockdown.

The French government is encouraging victims to turn to pharmacies who are now trained to report the abuse, the Italian government has launched a new app to report domestic abuse and has proposed $4.4 million to shelter abuse victims.

In the United States, due to Stay-At-Home orders, several nonprofit shelters have had to cancel their annual fund raisers, predicting that funding for domestic violence and sexual assault services will drop. Shelters are also dealing with the fear of the coronavirus pandemic spreading within their clients. Sharon Roberson, president of YWCA Nashville and Middle Tennessee exclaims the rush to help victims.

“We’re scrambling around to figure out how to keep people safe, with the idea we could be dealing with people who have a very contagious illness. Hospitals are very important, but we’re a version of that - we have people dealing with significant trauma and they need to have a safe space to go,” says Roberson.

– Malena Lopez

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