July 2, 2020
Face Coverings: Our Actions = Results
By Tom Bakaly, CEO Beach Cities Health District

It’s time to wear your face coverings. Like it or not, COVID-19 is going to be around for a while. The safest thing to do is physically distance. We did that and demonstrated that the strategy was not economically sustainable. So, the Country opened while the threat of infection is still very real and very prevalent. Too soon? So far, the outcome is less than ideal, with the infection rate going up and L.A. County beaches being closed for the 4 th of July weekend. 

Our “new normal” includes face coverings. Are they inconvenient? Perhaps, but it’s also simple to do. Some people feel that wearing a face covering infringes on their liberties. Some say they’re not going to let a virus control their life. Some say it doesn’t help. I used to feel that way about seat belts. I made a New Year’s resolution a few years back to wear my seat belt. Now it’s a habit.  Not too long ago, we never had to take our shoes off while going through security at the airport. It’s now part of the routine for air travelers. We can adapt to this new normal.

Early on with this pandemic, the advice from health experts was that only sick people and medical personnel should wear medical masks, not only to slow the spread of COVID-19, but also to maintain the supply for hospital workers. Everyone else should wear a face covering, but it doesn’t need to be medical quality; a cloth face covering, such as a bandana, will do the job. OK you say, but which mask/face covering/letter combination should I use? Here is a simple analogy.  
New Changes to the Health Officer Order: Bars, Beaches and Indoor Dining and Activities Now Closed
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has made multiple changes to the Health Officer Order over the last few days.

They amended the Health Officer Order on Sunday, June 28 in response to Governor Newsom's directive to require all bars, breweries, brew pubs, pubs, wineries and tasting rooms in the county to close unless they are offering sit-down dine-in meals. This includes closing bar areas in restaurants.

A day later on June 29, another Health Officer Order was released ordering the temporary closure of public beaches and prohibition of fireworks shows to prevent dangerous crowding over the Fourth of July weekend. Read the Health Officer Order here. All public beaches, piers, public beach parking lots, beach bike paths that traverse that sanded portion of the beach and beach access points will be temporarily closed to the public as of 12:01 a.m. on July 3 until 5 a.m. on July 6. Please note, surfing is not permitted.

On July 1, a revised Health Officer Order aligned with Governor Newsom’s directives and required the closure of the following for at least 21 days:
  • Indoor, in-person dining at restaurants
  • Indoor museums, indoor children’s museums, and indoor operations at zoos and aquariums
  • Cardrooms and satellite wagering facilities
The Health Officer Order also requires businesses with three or more known cases of COVID-19 within the workplace over the span of 14 days, to report the outbreak to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Employers who have one known case within the workplace must have a protocol that requires that person to self-isolate at home and anyone exposed to self-quarantine. Read the Health Officer Order here.

These orders come after the rapid and significant increases in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the testing positivity rate. One in 140 people are infectious in Los Angeles County. Last week, that was 1 in 400. Immediate actions to slow the spread are necessary to prevent overwhelming our healthcare system.

Check our website and follow us on social media to see the latest COVID-19 news from the state and county.
Be Safe this Fourth of July Weekend
Remember to:
  • Stay home as much as possible
  • Only gather with members of your household
  • Wear your cloth face covering and stay at least 6 feet apart from others who are not part of your household
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid the three C's
  • Confined spaces
  • Crowds
  • Close contact

We know you've heard the health guidance before, but it continues to remain essential that each and every one of us do our part. We all have the ability to save lives by doing these simple actions. If you're able to stay home, please do. It truly is safer at home.

We need to protect ourselves, but more importantly, we need to protect each other. It's reported that 42% of cases are now among individuals 18-40 years old. While this age range typically has a low risk for serious illness or death, they may unknowingly infect parents, grandparents and others who have underlying health conditions.

By wearing cloth face coverings and practicing physical distancing, you are protecting others, especially those vulnerable groups who are at increased risk that you may live or work with. It takes all of us working together, looking out for one another, to move us forward through recovery.
Who's at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19?
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) report that older adults and individuals with certain underlying medical conditions are at higher risk. In Los Angeles County, 93% of people who died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions. These vulnerable populations should continue to stay home as much as possible.

People of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19:
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
For more information and to learn about the conditions that might put people at increased risk , visit the CDC website here
Covered CA Deadline Extended to July 31
BCHD's Certified Enrollment Counselors continue to assist community members for insurance enrollment through Medi-Cal and Covered California. Covered California announced it would be giving consumers more time to sign up for health care coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic by extending the current special enrollment deadline through the July 31, 2020.

For continued support in enrollment and questions around coverage, please call our Assistance, Information & Referral line at  310-374-3426, ext. 256 , seven days a week, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Learn more here.
Virtual Beach Cities Summer Free Fitness Series
Grab your computer, break a sweat and de-stress at home!
Mondays in July
Family Yoga, 6 - 6:30 p.m.
Mindful Yoga, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Mondays in August
Zumba, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Virtual Moai Social: Butterfly Tour
Enjoy a virtual Butterfly Walking Tour that will feature the endangered El Segundo Blue Butterfly with Biologist Ann Dalkey. Connect with your community to tour the South Bay live from home to learn about why the Blue Butterfly is endangered, its life cycle, its habitat and efforts to improve its habitat. 
 Thursday, July 9
3 – 4 p.m.
Virtual Blue Zones Project Social Hour
Enjoy good company and practice a few Power 9 Principles of Longevity, including Down Shift and Right Tribe. This event will feature a food demo from Sacks in the City and Sacks at the Beach.
 Tuesday, July 14
4 – 5 p.m.
Virtual Garden Chat: Growing Food at Home
Join us for a Q&A Garden Chat featuring Mishell Balzer, BCHD’s Garden Education Coordinator! We’ll discuss growing food at home and share best practices and tips.
 Thursday, July 16
12 p.m.
Virtual Families Connected Parent Chat
Open to all parents. A free parent support group led by a licensed professional from the Thelma McMillen Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment at Torrance Memorial Medical Center held in partnership with South Bay Families Connected.
10 – 11 a.m.
Virtual Happiness Chat
Support your well-being with casual discussions focused on connection and resilience.
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Get unlimited access to all Center for Health & Fitness live virtual exercise classes for $22 during July.

Small Group Training is also available virtually for $12 per class.
Summer Wellness Challenge: Physical Activity
Time to get moving and join us for this week’s Summer Wellness Challenge! In addition to the physical benefits, research shows that exercise improves your immune system and reduces anxiety and stress. Kids 6 –17 years old should accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Here are some fun ways BCHD can help you and your family be active while still practicing physical distancing.
Healthy Living Campus
BCHD has refined the Master Plan for its proposed Healthy Living Campus in Redondo Beach and presented the updated concept to the BCHD Board of Directors June 17.

The pared-down project features many changes based on community input, including fewer units, reduced square footage, re-positioned buildings and less construction time.

The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process will continue ⁠— originally started in June 2019 ⁠— with the more compact Healthy Living Campus Master plan as the basis of the project description, which will inform the public and project decision-makers about significant environmental effects and identify possible ways to minimize or avoid those effects.

We are currently in the midst of the EIR process, so no decisions regarding the proposed campus have been made. The concept phase is complete and we are now heading into the environmental analysis. The Draft EIR is expected to be released late 2020.
Feed Your Well-Being
Eat Local: Meals for Home Delivery
Our errand assistance program now includes affordable and healthy meals for home delivery to vulnerable populations and those safer at home in the Beach Cities.
Looking for Plant-Slant Options?
Mix up your #TakeOutTuesday and #DineInWednesday ! See which Blue Zones Project Approved restaurants are open for dine in and offering take out, curbside pick-up or delivery.
What to do if you have been in a crowded setting
If you are out and about in a crowded setting, where people are congregating who are not using face coverings or distancing, or if you had close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with non-household members who were not wearing face coverings please consider the following:

Remain in your residence, away from others, in self-quarantine for 14 days

If you live with persons who are elderly or have high-risk conditions, you should:
  • Maintain at least a 6 ft. distance and wear a face covering when you are with them at home
  • Avoid preparing food for others
  • Avoid sharing utensils, bedding and towels
  • Increase cleaning and disinfecting of common surfaces

Consider getting tested for COVID-19 if you have been exposed to someone that is positive or likely positive
  • If the test result is negative, they should remain at home for 14 days to prevent spreading illness to others
This is especially important if you live with high-risk individuals such as older adults and those with serious underlying health conditions. These vulnerable individuals are still at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
COVID-19 Testing at BCHD Campus 514 N. Prospect
Appointments for COVID-19 testing at Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City sites have been filling up quickly.

The county is strongly encouraging residents who have insurance to first contact their primary care provider for testing.

If you are unable to receive testing through your provider, please continue to check the site for availability at Los Angeles County or Los Angeles City sites, or make an appointment at a state-operated or community testing site such as CVS by visiting covid19.lacounty.gov/testing . Tests are free of charge and are by appointment only. 

Testing is available to all residents at Los Angeles City sites. Testing at all Los Angeles County sites including the BCHD site is available for symptomatic persons and asymptomatic persons who have a chronic condition or are an essential worker.

We recognize the importance of COVID-19 tests during these unprecedented times and apologize for any inconvenience. 
Testing is prioritized for:
  • Symptomatic persons with fever, cough, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell
  • Persons who are over age 65
  • Persons with a chronic medical condition
  • Essential workers which includes janitorial, security, airport, government, health care, food, grocery and more
  • Persons who have been close contacts of people who are positive for COVID-19
What to expect after you've been tested for COVID-19
If you are awaiting testing results, you should stay home and act as if you are positive. This means self-isolating for 10 days and 72 hours after symptoms and fever subside, or until you receive a negative result. If a person tests positive for COVID-19, they should plan on receiving a call from a contact tracer to discuss how to protect themselves and others, to find out where they may have been, and who they were in close contact with while infectious.
Donate to the Beach Cities COVID-19 Fund
Donations will provide assistance to Beach Cities residents who are income qualified with essentials like groceries and household and cleaning supplies.
We Can All Be Health Leaders
In addition to physical distancing and wearing cloth face coverings when we are around others, we all still need to take the same precautions that we were taking earlier on in the pandemic - wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and self-isolate if you are sick. These actions combined are the best defense against COVID-19.
Need help with errands or health information and referrals?
If you or someone you know in the Beach Cities needs help, please call our Assistance, Information & Referral line at  310-374-3426, ext. 256 , seven days a week, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. or visit us online at  bchd.org/resources.
As of 7/1/2020
Cases per 100,000 in the South Bay: