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Local COVID Cases Inch Above 100, As County Officials Prepare Major Vaccination Push

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By Jorge Casuso

November 15, 2022 -- Coronavirus cases in Santa Monica inched over 100 last week as LA County Health officials prepare a major push to vaccinate hesitant residents before winter comes.

The Lakers, Clippers and Kings will offer COVID booster shots and flu shots at games starting Thursday through the end of the year, health officials announced Tuesday.

Vaccinations are also already being offered at more than 1,000 sites across the County.

Despite the ready availability, health officials are having a hard time convincing residents to get the shots during what has been a relatively mild fall for COVID, although flu cases are rapidly rising.

"(An) area of significant concern is the very low number of residents 65 or older who have received an updated bivalent booster dose," County officials said. "At 23 percent, it is far below the 60 percent needed to meet the threshold for adequate.

"Additionally, the lowest uptake is among the younger age groups, with children ages 5-11 and 12-17, bivalent booster rates are 4 percent and 5 percent respectively."

COVID cases in Santa Monica, which have hovered near 100 weekly cases surpassed that mark last week for the first time in a month with 103 confirmed cases. There were no virus-related deaths reported last week.

That brings the total number of cases to 24,582, with a total of 276 virus-related deaths in the city of some 93,000.

The increase in cases over the past week reflects a trend across the County of more than 10 million, according to Health data.

Last Thursday, the County reported a 7-day average of 1,300 cases per day, a 24 percent increase from the 7-day average of 1,050 cases reported over the previous seven days.

Meanwhile, there has been a corresponding increase in the average number of daily hospital admissions -- from 65 to 77 admissions over the same period, or an increase of 18 percent.

Most of those hospitalized have been admitted for conditions unrelated to COVID and only learned they were infected after being tested.

On Tuesday, there were 552 patients with COVID hospitalized in the County, which has 19,500 licensed hospital beds.

That's fewer than the 633 hospitalized last year before the Omicron surge, or the 900 hospitalized in 2020.

There were 52 virus-related deaths reported last week, fewer than half the 122 deaths reported during the same period last year.

There has been a total of 3,507,936 coronavirus cases to date across the County and 34,072 virus-related deaths. More than 12,681,000 individuals have been tested, with 24 percent testing positive.

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