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Six New Coronavirus Cases in Santa Monica Bring Total to 74

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By Jorge Casuso

April 6, 2020 -- Six new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Santa Monica on Monday, while the number of cases in Los Angeles County dropped for a second day in a row.

County officials reported 420 new cases of the disease, down from 663 on Sunday after a record 711 cases were confirmed Saturday, according to data from the County Public Health Department.

There have been 6,360 cases and 147 deaths confirmed to date in the County, which has a population of more than 10 million, County health officials said.

The number of deaths reported held steady at 15 on Monday after dropping from 28 on Saturday to 15 on Sunday.

Of the 15 new deaths, eight of the deceased had underlying health conditions and 12 were over the age of 65, health officials said.

Five of those over the age of 65 did not have underlying health conditions, officials said. Two of the three deceased who were between the ages of 41 and 65 did not have underlying health conditions.

“We cannot underestimate COVID-19, a virus that knows no boundaries, infects people of all ages, and can cause significant illness and death, particularly among people who are elderly or who have underlying serious health conditions," said County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), serious underlying medical conditions include chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis and liver disease.

Underlying conditions are also prevalent in those who are "immunocompromised," according to the Center's website.

They include "cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications," the CDC said.

Ferrer said health officials expect to see "a significant increase in cases over the next few weeks" and are asking the public to "avoid leaving their homes for anything except the most urgent matters."

To date, 1,366 people who have tested positive have been hospitalized at some point during their illness, representing 21 percent of the positive cases, officials said.

The number of confirmed cases in LA County has dropped despite an increase in the number of tests administered, which stood at more than 32,000 on Monday. Of those tested, 14 percent were positive.

In Santa Monica, the number of cases held steady over the past week after reaching 20 between Friday and Sunday a week ago, data shows.

There were 27 cases reported in Santa Monica last week, with the daily total reaching six on Monday and Friday.

The other 41 cases were reported between March 17 and March 29, according to County data.

Health officials have said they expect "a significant increase" in the number of coronavirus cases over the next few weeks.

They are advising that everyone avoid leaving their homes for anything except the most urgent matters.

Those who go out in public should cover their mouth and nose with a cloth face covering and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others, officials said. They also should frequently wash their hands.

Those who are ill should self-isolate, while those in close contact with someone who is positive or presumed to be positive should self-quarantine for 14 days.

"These are our most powerful tools to slow the spread and reduce the likelihood of overwhelming our health care system," Ferrer said.

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