The Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center is one of the first commercial facilities in the country to receive the Global Biorisk Advisory Council STAR accreditation, allowing it to serve as a certified outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response facility.

This accreditation is part of our cohesive plan to once again provide a safe and ideal location for meetings, conferences and conventions when the time is right,” said Steve Goodling, president and CEO of the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We believe these efforts will offer event organizers and attendees an added measure of reassurance that we will do so in a safe and responsible manner.”

To be accredited, the facility staff had to complete 20 extensive program elements, including:

  • Establishing and maintaining a cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention program to minimize risks associated with infectious agents like the novel coronavirus.
  • Ensuring the proper cleaning protocols, disinfection techniques and work practices are in place to combat biohazards and infectious disease.
  • Employing highly skilled cleaning professionals who are trained for outbreak and infectious disease preparation and response.

In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the convention center was transformed into a makeshift medical area with 100 cots in preparation for hospitals becoming overcrowded. The cots were never used, as the mass patient surge never materialized in Long Beach.

The facility has been closed since mid-March, with all conventions having been canceled or rescheduled per city and state mandates.

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal.