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Santa Monica Coronavirus Cases Continue Slowing Trend
By Jorge Casuso
May 29, 2020 -- Seven coronavirus cases have been reported in Santa Monica this week, furthering a slowing trend as houses of worship and offices reopen and stores allow customers inside.
The local cases reported through Thursday bring the total number to 261 in the beach city of some 93,000 residents and follows eight cases last week, the lowest weekly tally since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on March 16.
In Santa Monica, 18 persons who were infected with the virus have died, with one of the deaths confirmed this week, according to data provided by the Los Angeles County Public Health Department.
County health officials report that 93 percent of the deceased countywide had underlying heath conditions and most were elderly.
One death took place this week at Ocean Pointe Healthcare Center, bringing the total number of deaths at Santa Monica nursing homes to 28, according to data provided by the County.
There were 20 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 at local nursing homes this week -- seven of those who tested positive were residents and 13 were staff.
Of the 193 cases reported at seven local nursing homes, 125 were residents and 68 were staff.
Three of the long-term care facilities -- Ocean Pointe, the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica and Beachwood Post-Acute & Rehab -- accounted for 85 percent of the total cases and all but one of the deaths.
Nursing home cases do not appear to be reflected in the citywide counts.
As of noon Thursday, health officials had identified 49,774 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County, and a total of 2,241 deaths.
On Thursday, 1,094 new cases and 48 deaths were reported. Of those who died, 33 had underlying health conditions and 31 were over the age of 65.
Nearly 531,000 individuals have been tested in the County of some 10 million, with 8 percent testing positive.
As of Thursday, 6,350 people who tested positive -- 13 percent of positive cases -- have been hospitalized at some point during their illness.
There are 1,477 people currently hospitalized, 27 of them are in the ICU and 19 percent are on ventilators.
A new Health Officer order issued by the County this week allows houses of worship to reopen at 25 percent capacity or with a maximum of 100 people, whichever is lower. Political protests with limited numbers of participants are also allowed.
Retail establishments, including indoor malls and shopping centers, can operate at 50 percent capacity under the order. Restaurants remain closed for dining.
"Businesses must adhere to distancing and infection control protocols that provide safety for employees, customers and the County's most vulnerable residents before reopening," County officials said.
Residents of the County are required to maintain physical distancing and wear cloth face coverings whenever they are outside their homes and around other people, health officials said.
“There is a lot at stake as we continue our recovery journey," said County Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer. "More people being around one another can result in more transmission of COVID-19, more cases, and likely more hospitalizations and deaths."
LA County is in stage two of the five-stage Roadmap to Recovery, officials said.
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