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Hundreds possibly exposed to COVID-19 at a holiday drive

On the morning of Sunday, Dec. 20, hundreds of Long Beach residents lined up around the block on 4th Street and Pine Avenue for Antioch Church’s Christmas giveaway, however there might have been a possible exposure to COVID-19.

Volunteers checked attendee’s temperatures upon arrival, asking them to sanitize their hands, and requiring that a mask be worn if they wanted to enter. The church allowed a capacity of 60 people inside at a time.

Lee Charley, a Long Beach resident attended the drive on Sunday and noted how it was strange that outdoor dining was prohibited but it was ok for hundreds of people to enter a church to receive toys. 

Charley told LB LoJo that he did not see any social distancing and that many of the people in line were not wearing masks. 

Charley contacted 2nd District Councilwoman Cindy Allen about the event, who reported it to the Long Beach Police Department. LBPD said they were unable to enforce COVID-19 protocols as it was a church event.

The next day, Charley woke up to a notification from Apple’s new COVID-19 Exposure Notification feature. The app tracks iPhone users and their whereabouts for the last 14 days and notifies people if they’ve potentially been exposed to COVID-19. 

Screenshot of COVID-19 exposure notification | Courtesy of Lee Charley

The feature alerted Charley that he had been exposed to COVID-19 on Dec. 20 at 1:26pm, correlating with the same time he was at the Church’s Christmas drive, possibly along with 1,175 other people who had attended, according to the feature.

He reached out and informed LB LoJo shortly after.  

At the moment, it is unclear if this will be considered a superspreader event or if it is just an isolated case. 

More updates will be posted as they come. 

One thought on “Hundreds possibly exposed to COVID-19 at a holiday drive

  • December 21, 2020 at 7:56 pm
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    Volunteers actively were checking people in line to make sure they were standing six feet apart. I witnessed it myself. They passed out water, bottles of hand sanitizer, and white masks to people waiting in line, and it was outside. Everyone I saw in line was wearing their mask, including myself. It was well organized and mirrored other well-organized food give-aways occurring across the state. Any pictures taken will clearly show that masks were worn. If there was an invected person at the holiday drive, hopefully, they were responsible enough to wear a mask. If not, I can only assume those close to him ask him or her to put it on.

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