Late Thursday, March 12th, Manhattan Beach officials stated that the city has had two reported cases of the coronavirus among the total of 97 confirmed cases in Los Angeles County according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to the Press Release, a Manhattan Beach resident had called City Hall to inform city leaders that he had tested positive for coronavirus and had self-quarantined himself as well as the other reported case individual. The caller said that he and the other individual were traveling overseas with a larger group when they had fallen ill.
The City of Manhattan Beach attempted to contact the Department of Public Health (DPH) to confirm these cases multiple times but had not received any return calls. Upon contacting Supervisor Janice Hahn’s office for further assistance, the City of Manhattan Beach had been advised that DPH would not confirm or report any cases of coronavirus to the city unless there were certain circumstances.
“This is very disturbing and seriously disappointing to say the least,” said Mayor Ricard Montgomerty in the press release, whose mayoral term began on March 3rd. “Not being able to obtain information about COVID-19 cases in our own community is counterproductive to our common goal of protecting our residents.”
Following the press release, many students at DVC became uneasy knowing that there had been two reported cases of the coronavirus less than five miles away. Freshman Tony Bobbitt Jr. received the news early Friday morning and strongly believed that Da Vinci made the right decision to switch to virtual learning as of Monday, March 16th. “What had me most worried was how fast it was spreading and once the NoVa season got canceled, I knew it was going to be big,” Bobbitt said. “[The coronavirus] was so close to our school that I thought someone at DVC could have it.”
For others, the concern hits a bit closer to home, specifically for Kiana Brady, a junior who lives in Hermosa Beach, the city neighboring Manhattan Beach. After hearing the news through friends, she wasn’t necessarily sure if it was true or not.
“It does worry me that I’m in close proximity with people who could have it,” Brady said. “But, I also know that if I wash my hands and do everything that I’m supposed to then I will probably be fine.”