November 4, 2020
Immune-Boosting Foods
By Marissa Martorana, R.D.

As a Registered Dietitian, I am often asked if there are certain foods that can prevent the flu or a cold. Although there is not one particular food that will offer complete immunity to the flu or a cold, there are certain eating patterns, nutrients and daily practices that could contribute to a properly functioning immune system. According to the USDA dietary guidelines for 2015-2020, “An eating pattern is more than the sum of its parts: it represents the totality of what individuals habitually eat and drink, and these dietary components act synergistically in relation to health. As a result, the eating pattern may be more predictive of overall health status and disease risk than individual foods or nutrients.”  

There are, however, specific nutrients that have been shown to help support the growth of immune cells such as vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, iron, selenium and protein. These nutrients can be easily obtained through diet with a bit of planning to ensure that eating patterns are reflective of these nutrients. 
The previous Blue Zones Project Cooking Show highlighted immune-boosting foods and recipes that may help you during this flu season. The recording of the cooking show is available for you to watch on demand from the comfort of your own home.
Take the Safe in the South Bay Individual Pledge
By taking the pledge, you are committing to do your part to slow the spread of COVID-19 by protecting yourself and others. In addition to infection control best practices to keep you safe from COVID-19, you pledge to also focus on ways to care for your body, mind and community as we navigate the pandemic, and this new normal, together.
Health Advisory: High Risk of COVID-19 Transmission at Gatherings and Public Celebrations 
On October 26, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH issued a Health Advisory for private gatherings and public celebrations advising residents that the potential risk of COVID-19 transmission at such celebrations is high based on the increasing rate of COVID-19 community transmission.

Since early October, the average number of daily cases has increased from around 940 per day to more than 1,275 per day last week.

Recent contact tracing interviews over the course of three weeks showed that 55% of the people who knew of a possible exposure had attended an event or gathering where 2 or more people were sick. Other activities that have been linked to a high number of COVID-19 cases include parties, wedding celebrations, in-person dining at bars and restaurants, and on and off-campus socializing at universities.
It is best to gather only with your household, however, if you are going to host or attend a private gathering, it must adhere to the following protocols:
  • Held outdoors with physical distancing between households
  • Limited to 3 households, including the host and all guests
  • Cloth face coverings being worn when not eating or drinking
  • Food served in single-serve disposable containers
  • Two hours or less

Gatherings, even small ones, are extremely risky. With just one infected person at a gathering, dozens and dozens of people can become infected over weeks of virus transmission. Some will become seriously ill, and some may even die.
Latest Health Officer Order
On October 23, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) revised the Health Officer Order to allow the following activities:
  • Permit batting cages, miniature golf and go-cart racing to operate outside only. Arcades and other indoor family entertainment operations remain closed.
  • Permit personal care establishments to offer services indoors with modifications.
  • Clarify permitted food services at indoor malls and shopping centers.
  • Increase the percentage of students with IEPs and Els, and other high-need students allowed at any one time on a K-12 campus from 10% to 25%.
  • Permit schools to reopen TK-2nd grades for classroom instruction only with a waiver application approved by the Department of Public Health.
  • Wineries that do not serve food may serve wine to customers outdoors with modifications. Bars and craft distilleries remain closed. Read more.

It can be hard to keep up with the sector reopenings. Here is a list of what's open in Los Angeles County.
Change in Definition for "Close Contact"
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

*Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Read more here.
Learn the Difference Between Flu and COVID-19
Flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Learn the signs and symptoms, groups at high-risk for severe illness and complications. Read more here.

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, but there is a vaccine for the flu. Vaccines are an important public health measure to protect the health of not only yourself, but of your community. While Beach Cities Health District strongly recommends that health care providers, individuals, and families follow the ACIP-recommended vaccination schedules, the Health District recognizes that this is a personal choice for individuals and families. Please do your research, educate yourself and talk with your health care provider to find out which vaccines are recommended for you, or if you have any concerns.​
As of 11/2/2020
Apply for a Micro Enrichment Grant
Beach Cities Health District's Micro Enrichment grants provide small, one-time project-based health initiatives for up to $5,000 of funding. Micro enrichment grants are awarded twice in the fiscal year with one application window in the fall and one application window in the spring. BCHD will receive fall applications and proposals from now until noon on Friday, November 20, 2020. View the application criteria and apply here.
Beach Cities School Well-Being Line
During COVID-19, BCHD has launched a School Well-Being Line to provide enhanced mental health support and to help navigate questions related to health and safety at school.

Health and safety at school during COVID-19:
  • Questions about or assistance with utilizing the Symptom Assessment Tool for students and staff
  • Assistance with the health and safety protocols for return to campus including screening, testing and COVID-19 care navigation
  • Resources and information related to isolation or quarantine
Mental health and social-emotional resources and referrals:
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Use
  • Emergency Services
  • Childcare
  • Youth & Family Supports
  • Older Adults
  • Legal & Financial
  • Food Support
Call Beach Cities Health District’s School Well-Being Line for School Families at 310-374-3426, ext. 256, and press option 1 on school days between 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Click here for more information.
Eat Local: Meals for Home Delivery
We have expanded our errand assistance program to now include affordable and healthy meals for home delivery to vulnerable populations and those safer at home in the Beach Cities. Menus are available online and orders can be placed online or by phone. Learn more at
Need help?
If you or someone you know in the Beach Cities needs help with health-related information and referrals, or errand assistance and meal delivery, please call our Assistance, Information & Referral line at 310-374-3426, ext. 256, Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. or visit us online at
Virtual Mental Health & Happiness: An Introduction to the Series
This introduction provides an overview of the series designed to support well-being through gratitude, empathy, bravery and purpose. Learn techniques to build a practice supporting stress resilience and positive social connections.
 Thursday, November 5
11 a.m. - 12 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. Our special guest will be GROW. Relax, bring your healthy bites and connect with your community!
Tuesday, November 10
4 - 5 p.m.
Virtual Social Hour with Beach Cities Health District Care Manager Charlotte Barnett
With many senior centers closed and many older adults unable to socialize, we want to provide a space for people to talk, ask questions and share their experience during COVID-19. Join us if you want to learn more about community resources or BCHD, or if you just want to connect! Open to all.
Tuesday, November 17
11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Redefined: A Journey to Recovery
A Beach Cities Health District Virtual Town Hall featuring Stephen Hill, Founder of Speak Sobriety
Hear Stephen speak about his struggles with addiction and his inspiring story of recovery. There will be a virtual Q&A following Stephen's presentation. For parent and students in grades 7-12.
Tuesday, November 17
6 - 7:30 p.m.
Virtual Moai Social: How to Overcome Procrastination Workshop
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many are finding themselves procrastinating on taking action on their to-do lists. This often causes stress and negative feelings. Join us in a supportive environment to explore this issue.
Wednesday, November 18
5 p.m.
Virtual BCHD Board of Directors Meeting
Wednesday, November 18
6:30 p.m.
Virtual Blue Zones Project Cooking Show
Learn about Blue Zones Project inspired food from registered dietitian Marissa Martorana, and get a taste of how to live longer, better.
This month we will highlight healthy, tasty dishes to enjoy during Thanksgiving.
Thursday, November 19
4 - 5 p.m.
Virtual Families Connected Parent Chat
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. Open to all parents.
10 – 11 a.m.
*Does not meet November 23
Virtual Happiness Chat
This is a casual discussion group with light-hearted activities to spark conversation. Share ideas, tips, resources, jokes, quotes – anything that supports our happiness!
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Get unlimited access to all Center for Health & Fitness live virtual exercise classes for a monthly fee of $32. Small Group Training is also available virtually for $12 per class. Learn more.
Donate to the Beach Cities COVID-19 Fund
Donations will provide assistance to Beach Cities residents who are income qualified with essentials like groceries, household and cleaning supplies, rent and utility bill assistance and durable medical equipment to help keep them safe at home. 

Residents wishing to submit donations by check can mail those to Beach Cities COVID-19 Fund, 1200 Del Amo Street, Redondo Beach, CA 90277.
COVID-19 Testing at BCHD Campus 514 N. Prospect
Los Angeles County's testing criteria includes:
  • Those who have COVID-19 symptoms: Fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea
  • Those who have had a known exposure to COVID-19, including those who were in close contact with someone with COVID-19 
  • Those who live or work in a high-risk setting (such as skilled nursing facilities, group homes, residential care facilities and persons experiencing homelessness) 
  • In accordance with California Department of Health Testing Guidance, testing is also available when there is additional testing capacity if you do not have symptoms and you are an essential worker with frequent contacts with the public in these sectors: health care, emergency services, food and grocery, retail or manufacturing, public transportation, and education. To view a complete list of essential worker groups from the California Department of Public Health, click here.
If you're unsure if you need a test, check with your health care provider. If you don’t have a health care provider, call 211 to get a referral.

If you are unable to receive testing through your provider, please continue to check the site for availability at Los Angeles County sites, or make an appointment at a Los Angeles City, state-operated or community testing site such as CVS by visiting Tests are free of charge and are by appointment only. 
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 24 hours after fever subsides and symptoms improve. 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. If you are positive for COVID-19 and have not yet connected with a public health specialist or need more information on services, call toll-free at 1-833-540-0473. Residents who do not have COVID-19 should continue to call 211 for resources or more information.

If a person tests negative, they must continue to take every precaution to avoid contracting the virus or spreading the virus to others.
Healthy Living Campus
Environmental Impact Report Process
The refined draft Healthy Living Campus master plan, presented at the June 17, 2020 BCHD Board of Directors meeting, was developed from more than 60 meetings attended by more than 550 residents and drawing more than 1,000 comments during the last three years regarding elements of the campus. 
The Board endorsed a project description to continue the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process ⁠— originally started in June 2019 ⁠— with the more compact Healthy Living Campus master plan as the basis of the project description. This blueprint will inform the public and project decision-makers about significant environmental effects and identify possible ways to minimize or avoid those effects. 

The updated, more compact draft master plan includes:  
A Community Wellness Pavilion with public meeting spaces, demonstration kitchen, modernized Center for Health & Fitness, aquatics and more.
Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a Medicare/Medicaid program that provides comprehensive medical and social services to older adults.  
Fewer Units: Residential Care for the Elderly (RCFE) units drop from 420 to 220. Pricing has yet to be determined. One plan being considered will offer 10 percent of units at below market rates. 
Smaller New Building Area: New on-campus building area drops 18%
Less Construction Time: Active construction time is shortened from nine to five years in two phases (instead of three). 
2.5 acres of open space for programming to replace acres of asphalt.