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Santa Monica Marks 100th Coronavirus Case
 

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By Jorge Casuso

April 16, 2020 -- Santa Monica marked its 100th confirmed coronavirus case on Thursday, bringing this week's total to eight, as Los Angeles County reported its third straight day of record deaths.

The two cases confirmed in the beach City of some 93,000 residents on Thursday come after another two cases on Wednesday, four on Tuesday and none on Monday.

Santa Monica is on pace to see the lowest number of weekly cases since 12 were reported between March 17, when the first case was confirmed, and March 23, according to data provided by the County Public Health Department.

The County also saw a decrease in the number of cases this week, with 399 confirmed on Thursday, but the death toll spiked to a record 55 reported deaths, bringing the total to 455.

“The increase this week on the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 is distressing and a stark reminder of the devastation caused by COVID-19,” said County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

Of those who died Thursday, 48 had underlying health conditions and 43 were over the age of 65, four of whom had no underlying health conditions, County health officials said.

To date, 88 percent of those who have died had underlying health conditions and 35 percent lived in nursing homes, officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) includes among serious underlying conditions "chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis and liver disease."

County health officials have identified 10,854 positive cases of COVID-19 across LA County, which has a population of 10 million.

To date, 2,847 people who tested positive -- or 26 percent -- have been hospitalized at some point during their illness.

Testing results are now available for 70,000 individuals -- up from 27,000 on April 3 -- with 11 percent of those testing positive.

The County on Friday extended until May 15 its stay-at-home order to further flatten the curve, a move some epidemiologists warn will prolong the pandemic ("Santa Monica Sees One-Day Jump in Coronavirus Cases as County Curve Flattens," April 10, 2020).

“Public Health is planning for our County’s eventual recovery and preparing for a time when we can ease the Health Officer Orders," Ferrer said.

"Our goal is to get people back to work by gradually relaxing restrictions in a measured and disciplined way to avoid experiencing a resurgence of cases that overwhelms our healthcare system and threatens our collective wellbeing.

"Many routines will still be different, and practicing physical distancing, wearing face coverings, and keeping our hands clean will be very important until we have a vaccine,” Ferrer said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said that a COVID-19 vaccine could take 12 to 18 months to develop, test and approve.


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