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Local COVID Cases Dip, Deaths Rise

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By Jorge Casuso

May 16, 2022 -- Santa Monica saw coronavirus cases dip last week but reported three virus-related deaths, the most in a month, according to Los Angeles County Health data.

There were 308 local COVID cases confirmed last week, down from 331 the previous week, bringing the total number of cases to 18,413 in the city of some 93,000.

The three virus related deaths came after one death was reported over the previous three weeks, bringing the total number of residents who have died with the virus to 244.

The deaths -- which typically take about two weeks to report -- nearly matched the of average of 3.5 weekly deaths between February 6 and April 17, according to County Health data analyzed by The Lookout.

The number of confirmed cases in Santa Monica -- which has more than doubled over the past month from 159 in mid April -- mirrors a Countywide trend that has seen the largest number of cases since February 18.

The latest surge is due to the spread of the highly contagious Omicron BA.2 lineage and sub-lineages that now account for nearly 100 percent of the cases in the County of more than 10 million.

According to County health officials, the average number of daily new cases reported over the last week represented a 175 percent jump over the past month, from 1,071 cases to 2,944.

"The higher case numbers are beginning to translate to small increases in hospitalizations, as they typically follow case increases," health officials said.

Over the last seven days, the average number of daily hospitalized cases rose from 253 to 288, a 14 percent increase over the past month.

There are 312 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized.

"Fortunately, deaths, which typically lag hospitalizations by several weeks, remain stable and decreased from one month ago," health officials said.

Deaths have decreased from an average rate of 11 per day a month ago to six daily deaths reported during the past week, a 45 percent decrease.

"While it is reassuring to note the relatively low rates of hospitalizations and deaths," County officials said, "getting infected for many is still very risky and something to be avoided wherever possible."

To date, Public Health has reported a total of 2,915,694 positive cases of COVID-19, with a positivity rate of 2.6 percent.

There have been a total of 32,037 virus-related deaths in the County since the virus was first detected in March 2020.

Testing results are available for more than 11,936,751 residents, with 22 testing positive.

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