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Weekly Coronavirus Cases Drop in Santa Monica, While Deaths See Record Spike
 

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

January 4, 2021 -- Weekly coronavirus cases in Santa Monica dropped for the first time in five weeks, but the number of virus-related deaths spiked to a record 12, according to Los Angeles County Health data.

The 282 cases confirmed last week -- down from a record 365 the previous week -- brings the total number of cases in Santa Monica to 2,901 as of 8 p.m. Sunday.

A total of 72 residents have died with COVID-19 in the city of some 93,000. The 12 deaths last week followed a total of 19 deaths reported over the previous four months.

The weekly lull in Santa Monica cases comes as the virus continues to spread across the county of more than 10 million residents.

County health officials have identified 827,498 positive cases of COVID-19 and a total of 10,850 deaths.

Despite one of the nation's strictest shutdowns, coronavirus cases countywide have doubled in a little more than a month after some 400,000 cases were reported between January 26 and November 30.

"This is the fastest acceleration of new cases than at any other time during the pandemic," health officials said.

There are 7,697 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, with 21 percent -- or about 1,616 -- in the ICU, up from 1,383 a week ago.

That compares to a daily average of 791 people hospitalized with COVID-19 when the latest surge began two months ago, health officials said.

"LA County could experience, two weeks from now, 8,500 people hospitalized each day, and a week or two later, daily deaths rising to 175," health officials said Monday.

"Given that we are likely to experience in January the worst conditions that we have faced the entire pandemic, Public Health urges everyone to take personal responsibility and do your part to stop the surge," said County Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

"The numbers of hospitalizations and deaths do not go down until the number of new cases decreases," Ferrer said. "Everyone should stay home whenever possible.

"The fewer interactions we have, the less this deadly virus finds so many hosts and keeps spreading at a pace that wreaks havoc in every sector."

Younger residents "continue to drive increases in community transmission" -- with the number of daily cases among those between the ages of 30 and 49 skyrocketing from 463 on November 1 to 4,419 on December 22, officials said.

Adults between the ages of 18 and 29 saw a similar spike, with cases jumping from 303 cases a day to 3,072.

Meanwhile the elderly account for the highest number of daily deaths -- with those over 80 seeing the death toll jump from an average of 4 deaths a day in early November to 40 on December 22.

Those between the ages of 65 and 79 accounted for 35 cornonavirus-related deaths on December 22, health officials said.

Nursing home residents account for 35 percent of the deaths, although they comprise only 5 percent of the state’s COVID-19 cases, according to health officials.

Of those who died with the virus last year, 86 percent had underlying health conditions, officials said.

Testing results are available for more than 4,804,000 individuals, with 16 percent testing positive.


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