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COVID Cases Level Off in Santa Monica, No New Deaths
By Jorge Casuso
August 16, 2021 -- Coronavirus cases in Santa Monica dropped to 143 last week after hitting a near record high of 343 weekly cases at the end of July.
No virus-related deaths have been reported in nearly four months, according to data from Los Angeles County Health.
The 143 new cases reported last week follow 205 confirmed cases, 181 cases and 343 confirmed cases the previous three weeks, according to County data.
Cases have been on the rise across Los Angeles County, as well as nationwide, as the highly contagious -- although far less deadly --delta variant spreads.
But cases across the County of more than 10 million seem to be leveling off.
Last week, there were 24,299 cases reported countywide, up from 23,304, a 4 percent increase, according to County data The number of virus-related deaths last week increased to 127 from 98 the previous week.
Deaths -- which total 24,905 countywide -- typically take one to two weeks to report, and as a result lag behind tests results, which are reported more quickly.
According to County Health officials, "The high number of new cases reflects both continued high rates of transmission and significant increases in screening testing."
Testing results are available for nearly 7,760,000 residents countywide, with 1,352,791 -- 16 percent -- testing positive.
Sunday's test positivity rate was 3.5 percent, down from 6.1 percent two weeks ago, health officials said.
The "substantial decrease," officials said, "likely reflects the increase in routine screening testing of asymptomatic individuals."
Despite the raid spread of the delta variant, both the number of confirmed cases and reported deaths remain far below the record levels recorded in January, when the total number of cases confirmed countywide surpassed 1 million.
During the week of January 11, there were 100,700 cases confirmed and 1,563 virus-related deaths reported, or an average of 223 per day, compared to an averege of 14 deaths per day last week.
There were 1,653 people with COVID-19 hospitalized on Sunday, nearly four times the 452 patients hospitalized one month ago, when the County imposed a masking mandate for indoor public spaces, according to health data.
Of those hospitalized, approximately 23 percent -- or about 380 patients -- were in the ICU, according to the data.
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.
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