Hello Long Beach! Here is a recap of last week’s news to start that week of April 10, 2023.
Downtown Long Beach Traffic Impacts for 2023 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
Beginning Wednesday, April 12, several street closures will impact the downtown area in preparation for the Acura Grand Prix that will occur the weekend of April 14 through 16. Shoreline Drive, Seaside Way, and Queensway bridge on & off-ramp will be closed beginning Wednesday. Pine Avenue will remain open for access to the Hyatt, waterfront restaurants, Shoreline Village, and Shoreline Marina tenants. People visiting The Aquarium of the Pacific this week can access it through Chestnut Place or Golden Shore Avenue, or take a free shuttle to avoid traffic. There will be signage all around the area to guide vehicles to their destination, but visitors should note traffic is expected to be heavier than usual until Monday, April 17. For a full list of street closure times, click here.
Long Beach “Housing Promise’ will begin working housing projects for homeless students
Last week, the city approved the ‘Housing Promise,’ a partnership between the city and educational institutions to invest in housing projects for homeless students. According to the state’s Department of Education, 187,000 students have or are experiencing homelessness in California, with 3,000 of those students being from the Long Beach Unified School District. The Housing Promise was brought to the council by Mayor Rex Richardson and Councilmember Megan Kerr, who have both served on the LBUSD Board of Education prior to being on the city council. The project is only in its beginning stages of planning, but it intends to connect with LBCC, LBUSD, CSULB, and CSUDH to explore housing production and homelessness prevention programs. Learn more here (subscription to the Press-Telegram required to read the full article).
Labor shortages cause the port of Long Beach to shut down
The ILWU Local 13 has withheld labor due to negotiations over a new labor contract for West Coast dockworkers, which caused a majority of Thursday night’s shifts at the ports to go unfulfilled. Workers who did show up to work Thursday were sent home because there weren’t enough people to fulfill basic operations, like loading and unloading cargo. The workers consequently did not show up for their shifts Friday morning which caused the ports to shut down. The ports resumed operations quickly Friday night after communicating with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association so that cargo flows would not be disrupted for too long. Read more here.
City issues new COVID-19 health ordinance
Under the new COVID-19 health order that took effect April 3rd, healthcare professionals in Long Beach will still be mandated to be vaccinated and wear masks in medical vicinities unless they have a religious or medical exemption. The masking and vaccine requirements will be looked at again on September 30 and will be re-assessed depending on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that are issued at that time. Patients and visitors are no longer required to wear masks but it is still strongly recommended, as medically vulnerable residents staying at hospitals are particularly at risk of exposure, according to the Long Beach Health Department. The new health order has also updated its Isolation Orders, which state that a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 may discontinue isolating after five days OR if they are fever free for 24 hours. For more information on the updated COVID-19 health ordinance, read here.
Long Beach is holding sessions to support those affected by Virgin Orbit layoffs
Following the announcement that Virgin Orbit will be laying off 85% of its workforce due to economic hardship, the city is hosting Rapid Response Sessions to provide information and resources to those who are affected by the layoff. There will be an in-person meeting on Tuesday, April 11 at 10 a.m. at the Pacific Gateway Offices (4811 Airport Plaza Dr.). Those who are interested in attending can register for the meeting here. A Zoom session will be held Thursday, April 13 at 2 p.m., and registration can be made here. These sessions will cover information on unemployment insurance, tips on filing a claim, career counseling, affordable health care through Covered California, and more. These Rapid Response Sessions are federally funded to help people get back into the workforce as quickly as possible. Read more here.