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Cornoravirus Cases See Record Surge During Latest Lockdown

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica

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By Jorge Casuso

December 15, 2020 -- Santa Monica reported a record 244 COVID-19 cases last week, reflecting a countywide surge that persists despite some of the strictest health orders in the nation.

The number of confirmed weekly coronavirus cases in the city shattered the record 197 cases set the previous week, according to data provided by the County Health Department.

Two Santa Monica residents with the cornonavirus died last week, down from a record five the previous week.

As of Sunday there were 1,938 cases and 52 deaths confirmed in the city of some 93,000 since the first local case was confirmed on March 16.

The State’s Regional Stay At Home Order issued on December 6, which also temporarily suspended outdoor dining, has so far failed to curb the swelling wave of cases.

"Our daily case numbers are unlike any we have ever seen in our county and reflect extraordinarily high rates of community transmission," County health officials said this weekend

"Activities we were able to do just a few weeks back, now present far too much risk for virus transmission."

Cases have surged during the past month, from a 5-day average of 2,134 cases on November 12 to 10,034 on December 12, or a 370 percent increase, health officials reported.

There were 4,203 people with COVID-19 hospitalized on Sunday, up from 2,988 the previous week. Of those, 21 percent or about 883, were in the ICU, up from 717.

There are approximately 17,000 licensed non-ICU beds and 2,500 licensed ICU beds in the County's 70 designated 9-1-1 receiving hospitals, based on hospitals' daily self-report.

County officials predict that by next weekend, more than 5,000 patients will likely be hospitalized, with more than half in the ICU.

COVID-19 is highly transmittable and can spread rapidly, quickly overwhelming hospitals with the most vulnerable patients, according to experts.

This is not the first time lockdowns and enhanced health measures have failed to curb the spread of the highly contagious virus, according to the non-profit website

In late July, a resurgence of the virus struck such places as Hong Kong, Spain and Australia "that were seen as models of how to respond to the virus," according to a July 24 article in the New York Times.

On October 17, the Times reported that extreme measures taken in spring when "the coronavirus began sweeping around the globe" failed to extinguish the virus, which surged again in the fall.

As of Sunday, Public Health identified 532,730 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 8,345 deaths.

While the virus is spreading mostly among young adults, the "steepest increase in hospitalizations is experienced by older residents," health officials said.

Those over 80 "have consistently experienced the highest rates of hospitalization" in the County, followed by residents 65 to 79 years old, and residents 50 to 64 years old.

Of those who have died with the coronavirus, 93 percent had underlying health conditions, health officials said.

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