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Ana Jara for City CouncilTed Winterer for City CouncilJen Smith for School BoardCoronavirus Cases Rise as Hospitalizations, Deaths Remain Down
 

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By Jorge Casuso

November 2, 2020 -- There were 43 new cases of the coronavirus confirmed in Santa Monica last week, reflecting a rising number of cases across Los Angeles County, although hospitalizations and deaths are down.

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Santa Monica had averaged 25 weekly cases over the past three months before a cleared backlog contributed to 53 cases reported two weeks ago, according to a Lookout analysis of County Health Department data.

Phil Brock for Council

The number of Santa Monica residents who have died with the virus rose to 41 last week, marking the first death since the number was adjusted down in September following further investigation.

Oscar de la Torre for City Council

A total of 1,049 Santa Monica residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since the first case was reported in the beach city of some 93,000 on March 16, according to the data.

As of 8 p.m. Sunday, there were 310,595 coronaviris cases reported in the County of more than 10 million as the average number of weekly cases continued to rise.

Since early October, the number of new cases has increased from around 940 a day to more than 1,275 a day last week, health officials said.

The 1,745 new cases confirmed on Wednesday marked the most reported since late-August not associated with a backlog of cases.

County health officials attribute the rise to an increase in the number of gatherings between households, including visiting friends and neighbors, as well as celebrations of the Lakers and Dodgers victories.

A weekly survey conducted by USC's Center for Social and Economic Research found a 57 percent increase since April in people reporting close contact with those they don't live with.

More than 10 percent of respondents reported they had been at a gathering of more than 10 people in the last 7 days.

Despite the increase in positive cases, there has been a steady decrease in the number of hospitalizations and the number of those who had the virus when they died, County officials said.

Last week, there was a daily average of 13 coronavirus-related deaths per day, compared to 44 average daily deaths reported during a peak in late July, health officials said.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continues to average less than 800 a day, marking a dramatic drop from 2,220 on July 31, according to County data. Of the 777 people with COVID-19 hospitalized on Sunday, 29 percent were in the ICU.

County health officials attribute the drop in hospitalizations to an increase in cases among the young, who are less likely to become seriously ill and "the ability of health care providers to offer better therapeutic treatments (that) often leads to shortened length of stays."

In addition, "there is often a lag between the time we start to see increases in cases and subsequent increases in hospitalizations," officials said.

Of those who have died, 93 percent had underlying health conditions, with the most common being hypertension, followed by diabetes and cariovascular disease.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has found that those who died with the coronavirus nationwide had an average of 2.3 underlying health conditions.

Testing results are available for nearly 3,160,000 individuals countywide, with 9 percent testing positive.


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