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Weekly COVID-19 Cases in Santa Monica Hit Lowest Level Since November

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By Jorge Casuso

February 2, 2021 -- The number of coronavirus cases reported in Santa Monica has dropped by more than half over the past two weeks, hitting its lowest weekly level in more han two months.

There were 144 confirmed COVID-19 cases last week in the city of some 93,000, down from 243 cases the previous week and 293 cases two weeks ago, according to County data.

It was the lowest weekly tally since 120 cases were confirmed in the week ending November 29, according to County data analyzed by The Lookout.

Ten COVID-19 deaths were reported in Santa Monica last week, down from 12 the previous week.

That number, however, reflects deaths that took place several weeks earlier, since it can take officials as long as two weeks to confirm and report a coronavirus-related death.

The weekly tally brings the total confirmed coronavirus cases among Santa Monica residents to 3,938 and the number of virus related deaths to 118, according to County data.

The downward trend reflects a marked drop in coronavirus cases countywide. As of January 27, the seven-day average of new cases was 5,093, a 67 percent drop from an average of more than 15,000 cases on January 8.

As of Sunday, the County of some 10 million residents had confirmed 1,120,895 positive cases of COVID-19 and a total of 16,854 virus related deaths.

An average of 217 people with COVID-19 died each day last week, with more than 300 deaths reported on two days, County officials said.

Daily hospitalizations were down -- from a peak of 8,000 in early January to 5,398 on Sunday.

Of those, 27 percent, or some 1,458 patients were in the ICU, down from about 1,553 patients the previous Sunday.

The number of hospitalizations, however, remains far above the daily average between mid-September and late-October, when fewer than 800 people were hospitalized.

Those over 80 "consistently experienced the highest rates of hospitalization among all age groups," followed by residents 65 to 79 and those 50 to 64, health officials said.

"Recent data indicates obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are the most common underlying health conditions among people hospitalized with COVID-19," health officials said.

"Many people have multiple underlying health conditions."

Public Health officials caution that the County "is at a critical moment in the pandemic," with the number of new daily cases remaining "very high" and transmission "widespread."

LA County remains in the most restrictive state tier -- purple -- although some restrictions on businesses were lifted last week, officials said.

“We are all still living through the nightmare of this surge," County Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Monday. "Now is the time to remain super vigilant against this deadly virus and continue to stay home as much as possible."

Ferrer is asking residents to stay home on Super Bowl Sunday, and the County has barred television screens from restaurants and bars that have recently reopened their outdoor areas in an effort to avoid a "superspreader event."

The rapid spread of the virus that made LA County the national epicenter of the pandemic has been "deeply rooted" in inequality, with the poorest areas by far the hardest hit, according to a recent analysis by the New York Times.

"County data shows that Pacoima, a predominantly Latino neighborhood that has one of the highest case rates in the nation, has roughly five times the rate of Covid-19 cases as much richer and whiter Santa Monica," the report found.

As of Sunday, the County had administered nearly 800,000 of the nearly 1 million doses it had received by January 25.

"Los Angeles County has administered more doses of vaccine and have (sic) vaccinated a higher percentage of our population to date than any other large county or large city in the U.S.," health officials said.

As of Sunday, testing results were available for more than 5,518,000 County residents, with 19 percent testing positive.

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