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BCHD Establishes Operations Center; Three COVID-19 Cases in Manhattan Beach

Mar 16, 2020 08:57PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
In response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Beach Cities Health District has  activated an emergency District Operations Center (DOC) to better respond to the situation in the beach cities.

Meanwhile, there are now three cases of COVID-19 in Manhattan Beach, as per the L.A. County Department of Health.

Manhattan Beach Mayor Richard Montgomery confirmed the city's knowledge of the three cases in an email on Monday night. The LACDPH has changed its position from last week, he said, and is now informing the city of cases within its jurisdiction.

The emergency response by BCHD is intended to assist the community in numerous ways, including actively working with partners to create a COVID-19 testing site in the Beach Cities as L.A. County increases its capacity for testing.

BCHD will also work to identifying and assisting at-risk older adults in the community; providing assistance to the community; offering health and well-being tools and tips; and disseminating accurate and timely information to the community throughout the outbreak.

“We continue to place the highest priority on the health and well-being of our community, volunteers and staff, while protecting the continuity of essential functions," said BCHD CEO Tom Bakaly.

Last week, BCHD announced that it would temporarily close the AdventurePlex facility in Manhattan Beach and the Center for Health & Fitness in Redondo Beach until April 30, as part of its efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. BCHD also postponed or cancelled all events through April 30.

BCHD’s 170 employees (including those at AdventurePlex and the Center for Health & Fitness) are being utilized as part of the DOC and public outreach operation, staying in contact with members, assisting BCHD’s Community Services with checking in on older adult residents or helping clients with errand assistance.

Program staff and trainers are creating online learning and fitness programming that will be delivered to members of the Center for Health & Fitness and Beach Cities residents.

The LACDPH recommends that residents avoid all nonessential travel and practice social distancing. The following groups are at higher risk for experiencing severe illness from COVID-19 and should practice social distancing immediately and avoid being in close contact with others who are ill:
  • Older adults (65 years and older)
    •  Early data suggest older adults are twice as likely to have serious COVID-19 illness. This may be because immune systems change with age, making it harder to fight off diseases and infection. Older adults also are more likely to have underlying health conditions that make it harder to cope with and recover from illness.
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals with underlying health conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease, diabetes, cancer or compromised immune systems.

“We are closely monitoring the developments as they evolve alongside our three cities, school districts and chambers of commerce,” said Bakaly. “As the local health resource in the community, we are taking a preventive approach in line with recommendations from public health officials to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the impact to residents. We all have a role in the health of our community—everybody can be a leader and practice social distancing and good public health hygiene. Now is the time to support our community and support one another.”

BCHD will continue to provide services to older adults and adults with disabilities in the community while taking precautions to ensure staff and volunteers follow LACDPH recommendations to protect themselves and others from respiratory infections like COVID-19 or the flu.

“Now more than ever is the time to support our community and support one another,” said Dr. William Kim, BCHD’s Chief Medical Advisor. “In doing so, we urge people to follow the recommendation of social distancing for your health and the health of the person you’re trying to help.”

If you are an older adult resident or an adult with disabilities (or if you know one) in the Beach Cities in need of assistance, or if you have resident questions or concerns, please reach out to BCHD's information and referral line at 310-374-3426, ext. 256 (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) or make an online request at

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