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Death Toll Higher at Two Santa Monica Nursing Homes than City At Large
 

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By Jorge Casuso

April 29, 2020 -- The number of residents at Santa Monica nursing homes who have died while infected with the coronavirus rose to 12 on Wednesday, more than the number of deaths citywide.

The death reported at the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica on Wednesday marked the ninth death at the center, the same number confirmed citywide by Los Angeles County health officials.

Three other deaths have been reported at Beachwood Post-Acute & Rehab.

The death reported at the Rehabilitation Center Wednesday came as Santa Monica's death count also rose by one the same day.

Still, County data makes it unclear if those who die at local nursing homes are among the Santa Monica residents included in the city's count.

The death was one of 56 reported in LA County Wednesday, health officials said.

Of those who died, 42 had underlying health conditions and 41 were over the age of 65, health officials said.

To date, 92 percent of the 1,056 persons who had the virus when they died suffered from underlying health conditions, and 47 percent of the deaths were in nursing homes.

A record 1,541 new cases of COVID-19 were reported countywide on Wednesday, with one case reported in Santa Monica, according to data from the LA County Public Health Department.

That brings the total number of confirmed cases in the beach city of some 93,000 to 157.

There have been 91 cases of the viirus confirmed at four Santa Monica nursing homes -- 56 among residents and 35 among staff, according to county data.

Of those who have tested positive, 36 were residents or staff at the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica and 33 at Beachwood Post-Acute & Rehab.

Another 12 positive cases have been confirmed at the Ocean Pointe Healthcare Center and ten at the Brentwood Health Care Center.

It is unclear how many are among the total cornavirus cases reported for the city.

To date, more than 139,000 individuals have been tested countywide, health officials said.

Of those who have tested positive, 4,715 people -- 22 percent of positive cases -- have been hospitalized at some point during their illness.

“In Los Angeles County, we have many residents that are at very high risk for becoming infected with COVID-19 and becoming seriously ill from the virus," said County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

"This is reflected in our case numbers, the number of people who are hospitalized, and the number of people who have died from COVID-19," Ferrer said.

Coronavirus deaths include all those who had the virus when they died, according to the standard being used by health officials nationwide.

Critics of using that standard argue that it inflates the number of deaths attributed to the virus.

One of the three residents of Beachwood Post-Acute & Rehab who was counted as a coronavirus death was suffering from an advanced stage of cancer when he died at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, a spokesman for the nursing home said.


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