the Long Beach Health Department discovered that the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is present in our city. Statewide, the Delta variant has increased from 4.5% of sampled cases on May 21 to 14.5% on June 21. This variant, which is believed to be more transmissible and more likely to cause severe disease, is of grave concern, especially to unvaccinated people. Elsewhere in the country and across the world, case rates and hospitalizations are rapidly increasing among unvaccinated populations. The Delta variant is quickly spreading and is expected to become the dominant variant in the U.S. within weeks.
The Health Department urges everyone to become vaccinated. The available COVID-19 vaccines provide protection against this new variant and the more people who are vaccinated, the lower the chance that any variant, including Delta, can get a foothold in our community.
Vaccines are safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 cases, as well as preventing serious illness or death among breakthrough cases of the virus. In the past six months, 99.8% of COVID-19-related deaths across Los Angeles County have occurred among unvaccinated people.
The City offers vaccine clinics six days a week: the schedule can be found at longbeach.gov/vaxlb. No appointment is necessary at City-run vaccine clinics. People also may contact their healthcare provider or area pharmacies or visit myturn.ca.gov to make a vaccine appointment. Vaccines are available to everyone 12 years old and older, regardless of immigration status, and are always free of charge.
Anyone experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms, including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea should be tested for COVID-19. Free testing is available at City-run sites daily; people also may contact their healthcare provider or area pharmacies to receive a test.