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Coronavirus Cases in Santa Monica Level Off as Elementary Schools Prepare to Reopen

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

March 10, 2021 -- Coronavirus cases in Santa Monica remained steady for the third week in a row and related deaths saw a dramatic drop as local public schools prepare to reopen in one month.

There were 80 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city last week, down from 81 the previous week and 82 the week before, according to LA County Health data.

The holding pattern comes after cornonavirus cases dropped below 100 for the first time in four months on the week ending February 21. There were 31 cases reported on Monday and Tuesday.

Cornonavirus related deaths dropped to 3 last week, after spiking to 16 the week before. There has been one additional death reported this week.

The number of deaths reflects those that took place several weeks earlier, since the deaths of those with COVID-19 can take officials as long as two weeks to confirm and report.

School District officials announced Tuesday they had reached an agreement with the local teachers union to implement a five-day school week at elementary schools starting April 12.

Under the agreement, students will attend school "on-site/in-person" four days per week and engage in one day of "synchronous/asynchronous learning."

Schools will use the two weeks before spring break "to prepare, welcome students on campus, and to ensure that all necessary protocols are operational," District officials said.

The new memorandum of understanding comes two weeks after the District reached an agreement with the union to open elementary schools a maximum of two days 15 days after vaccines were made available to teachers and school personnel on March 1 ("District Elementary Schools Could Reopen By Mid-March," February 22, 2021).

On Tuesday LA County Health officials announced the County of more than 10 million residents had begun to "meet the metric thresholds for the red tier that allows for additional re-openings, including on-site learning for grades 7 through 12."

To move into the less restrictive tier, L.A. County’s daily case rate must be at or below 7 new cases per 100,000 residents and the County's test positivity rate must be at or below 8 percent for two consecutive weeks, officials said.

As of Tuesday, the daily case rate was at 5.2 new cases per 100,000 and the test positivity rate was at 2.5 percent.

"Should the cases and test positivity rates remain at or below the red tier metrics next week, the County would move to the red tier on March 17," County officials said.

To date, there have been 1,205,276 positive cases of COVID-19 countywide and a total of 22,099 deaths.

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