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Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in Santa Monica Saw Record Spike Last Week

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Santa Monica

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By Jorge Casuso

June 8, 2020 -- Santa Monica saw its biggest spike in reported coronavirus cases last week -- with 52 new confirmed cases following a record low eight the previous week.

That brings the total number of coronavirus cases confirmed as of 8 p.m. Sunday to 306 in the city of 93,000, according to Los Angeles County Health Department data.

A total of 20 Santa Monicans who were infected with the COVID-19 have died, the data shows.

The spike in the number of cases citywide was the steepest since 41 cases were reported between March 17 and March 29.

There is generally a two-week lag in testing results, indicating that the large protests that defied government orders against public gatherings are not reflected in the increased numbers.

There was also a spike reported at Santa Monica nursing homes last week -- with 64 new cases reported, bringing the total as of Sunday to 237.

Of those, 149 cases were among residents and 88 among staff.

A total of 30 residents or staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 have died. Of those, all but one were connected to three nursing homes.

To date, 29 people who have died in Los Angeles County after contracting COVID-19 worked in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, health officials said.

A total of 6,031 confirmed cases of the virus occurred among healthcare workers and first responders, with 633 new cases reported last week, health officials said.

Seven percent of healthcare workers with COVID-19 have been hospitalized. Seventy-nine percent of healthcare workers who tested positive reported being exposed in a healthcare facility.

"Healthcare workers who are positive worked at 27 different occupational settings, with the vast majority of cases among healthcare workers from skilled nursing facilities and hospitals," County officials said.

To date, there have been 64,644 positive cases of COVID-19 and a total of 2,655 deaths across the County of 10 million residents.

Of those who have died after testing positive, 93 percent had underlying health conditions, County officials said.

Testing results are currently available for more 708,000 individuals, with 8 percent of those testing positive, officials said.

“Every social interaction outside the household comes with risk to both the people who interact and, if anyone gets infected, to the people they live, work and play with in the future," County Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer warned on Monday.

It is unclear if the massive protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis will result in an accelerated spread of the virus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, who had issued repeated warnings about lifting the lockdowns and easing measures, issued his first public warning one week after the protests began.

During a radio interview with a local Washington, D.C. station Friday, Fauci said he is "very concerned" about the "congregation of large crowds."

"Obviously, not only are they congregating physically close to each other but often when they start screaming and demonstrating -- which part of the process of demonstrating, I’m not criticizing that -- but I’m saying what it’s going to be leading to is the likelihood that you might have situations where you will foster the spread of the infection, and that’s really of concern."

Fauci added, “It’s a delicate balance because the reasons for demonstrating are valid.”

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