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Santa Monica's Coronavirus Count Reaches Four as Californians Ordered to Stay Home

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

March 20, 2020 -- The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Santa Monica reached four on Friday, one day after Californians were ordered to stay at home.

The number of cases reported in nearby West Hollywood and Brentwood reached 18 and 16 respectively, the highest totals in the County, according to LA County Health officials.

On Thursday, Santa Monica College reported that the first student had tested positive for the virus ("Santa Monica College Student Tests Positive for Coronavirus," March 20, 2020).

Three employees who work in Santa Monnica have also tested positive ("City Declares Local Coronavirus Emergency, Apple, Universal Music Shutter," March 14, 2020).

It is not clear whether any of the cases is among the four that have been confirmed so far in Santa Monica, since city counts reflect the number of residents who have contracted the virus.

The four Santa Monica cases are among a total of 292 cases that were confirmed in Los Angeles County as of noon Friday, with 101 of the cases reported over the previous 48 hours, health officials.

There have been two deaths due to the virus in the County, which has a population of more than 10 million.

Some 2,400 people have been tested for the virus, with about ten percent testing positive, officials said.

Of those infected, 138 are between the ages of 18 and 65; the median age of those who have tested positive is 47.

"Our State, County and Local leaders have entered the next phase in protecting the health of our population and slowing the spread of COVID-19," said LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

"Non-essential businesses are ordered to close and everyone is ordered to be safe at home unless you are an essential worker," Ferrer said.

On Thursday, Governor Gavin Newsome ordered California's 40 million residents to stay home after state health officials estimated 25.5 million Californians could be infected over an eight-week period.

Under the mandatory order, people can continue to visit gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, takeout and delivery restaurants, banks and laundromats.

Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.

"The supply chain must continue, and Californians must have access to
such necessities as food, prescriptions, and health care," Newsome said.

"When people need to leave their homes or places of residence," the order states, "they should at all times practice social distancing."

The order closes dine-in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms and fitness studios, public events and gatherings and convention centers.

"Our goal is simple," Newsome said, "we want to bend the curve, and disrupt the spread of the virus."

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