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Local COVID Cases Spiked Last Week

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By Jorge Casuso

April 25, 2022 -- There were 247 coronavirus cases confirmed in Santa Monica last week, the most in nearly three months, as the relatively mild BA.2 Omicron subvariant spreads throughout the County and nation.

The number of weekly cases -- up from 159 the previous week -- was the most since 434 cases were reported in the week ending February 6, as the dramatic surge in Omicron cases began to wane, according to Los Angeles County Health data.

One local virus-related death was reported last week, after there were no deaths reported for the first time this year during the previous week, data show. Deaths typically take two weeks to report.

Last week's tally brings the total number of cases in the beach city of 93,000 to 17,490 as of Sunday, according to County data. There have been 141 virus related deaths.

As of Thursday, Santa Monica had one of the highest vaccination rates in the County, with 92.4 percent of the population over the age of 5 having received at least one shot as of Monday, according to County data.

The BA.2 subvariant is not considered severe but is more easily transmissible and better able to evade vaccines than the previous subvariant, studies have shown.

The "highly infectious subvariant" accounted for 84 percent of sequenced specimens in the County for the week ending April 2, according to County Health officials. It has also been identified in 93 percent of cases nationwide.

In LA County, the number of weekly cases jumped from 960 cases two weeks ago to 1,553 cases, officials said. The seven-day case rate for the County has now surpassed 100 new cases per 100,000 residents, "indicating, once again, high rates of transmission," officials said.

Still, the rapid increase in cases has been accompanied by a decrease in both hopitalizations and deaths, according to County data.

The average number of people hospitalized over the past seven days fell from 276 two weeks ago to 222, while the average number of daily reported deaths decreased over the same period from 14 to 10.

To date, the total number of virus-related deaths in the County of more than 10 million is 31,938. A total of 2,864,284 positive cases of COVID-19 have been reported.

Testing results are available for more than 11,826,800, individuals, with 22 percent testing positive, health officials said.

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