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Santa Monica Coronavirus Cases Hit Weekly High
 

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By Jorge Casuso

November 10, 2020-- A record 70 new coronavirus cases were reported in Santa Monica last week, as daily cases across Los Angeles County surpassed 2,000 for the first time in three months, according to Health Department data.

The sudden rise in local cases comes after Santa Monica averaged fewer than 30 weekly cases over the past three months, according to a Lookout analysis of the data.

The total topped the previous weekly high of 65 cases reported in the week ending July 12, according to the data.

The number of Santa Monica residents who had the virus when they died remained steady last week at 41.

There have been a total of two COVID-19 related deaths over the past 11 weeks in the city of some 93,000.

County Health officials reported a "surge in COVID-19 transmission" --from a little more than 750 daily cases in mid-September to nearly 1,400 cases in mid-October.

Last Wednesday, the daily case numbers surpassed 2,000 for the first time since August 14, prompting Health officials to say the numbers are "demonstrating real and alarming increases."

Still, the number of hospitalizations and deaths remain far below the highs reached in late July.

Last week, the average number of daily deaths in the County of more than 10 million rose to 16, from 13 the previous week. That still marked a dramatic drop from a daily average of 44 deaths in late July.

And while the number of those hospitalized with the virus rose to more than 800 a day last week -- with 855 on Sunday -- that was still far below the 2,220 hospitalized on July 31, according to County data.

Of those hospitalized on Sunday, 29 percent were in the ICU.

There has also been a steady decline in the number of nursing home patients who had the virus when they died, health officials said.

Last week, deaths in skilled nursing facilities dropped to 16 deaths from a peak of 190 weekly deaths at the beginning of May.

"These facilities did not experience a surge in COVID-19 deaths in July and August as Los Angeles County did overall," health officials said.

They attribute the steady drop to efforts to protect workers and residents "through enhanced infection control, using appropriate PPE, and diligence in appropriate testing."

The surge in cases in LA County can be traced in part to pockets of infections in several communities, including Pacoima, Sun Valley and Palmdale.

There, the adjusted case rates were more than two to three times higher than the County at large.

County health officials have sent community health workers, also called “promotoras,” to the highly impacted communities to "conduct healing-informed grassroots community outreach," officials said.

To date, there have been 323,625 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 7,177 deaths.

Of those who have died with the virus, 93 percent had underlying health conditions, according to County officials.

Testing results are available for nearly 3.27 million County residents, with 9 percent of them testing positive.


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