Huntington Beach’s New City Council Looks to Step up Coronavirus, Homelessness Aid Efforts in 2021 – Voice of OC

City council members in Huntington Beach are grappling with how to best respond to the Coronavirus — a top priority in the city with the sixth highest case count in Orange County.

The virus has killed 1,943 people as of Wednesday, according to the County’s Health Care Agency

And public health experts and frontline doctors expect Orange County’s coronavirus situation to worsen this month.

“We’re in the darkest days of COVID,” said City Manager Oliver Chi Tuesday at Huntington Beach’s first meeting of the new year held to set the council’s priorities for 2021. 

“We got over 2 million cases in California, there’s only seven other countries outside of the U.S. that have surpassed that mark. It’s a really startling figure,” he said

Chi said there are concerns if the city can maintain ambulance services because hospitalizations are being bombarded.

“The hospitals are so backed up. We’ve had to pull a couple of rabbits out of our hat and shift operations to ensure that when folks call 911 we can get an ambulance to them,” he said.

In the midst of this discussion, new elected Councilmember Tito Ortiz was attending the meeting through Zoom from his car in the parking lot because of his unwillingness to wear a mask which health officials have urged the public to do.

Ortiz posted on his