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New Coronavirus Cases in Santa Monica Continue Holding Steady

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By Jorge Casuso

April 8, 2020 -- There were three new coronavirus cases confirmed in Santa Monica Tuesday, as the number of daily cases in Los Angeles County remained below Saturday's high.

The three new Santa Monica cases bring the city's total to 77, furthering a trend that has seen the number of new cases in the beach city remaining stable.

There were six new cases reported Monday and a total of 27 the previous week, according to data from the LA County Public Health Department.

Meanwhile, the County's daily tally of new cases has remained below Saturday's high of 711, with 550 cases reported Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 6,910, County health officials said.

There were 420 new cases reported on Monday and 663 on Sunday.

Twenty-two new deaths were reported Tuesday, bringing the total death toll to 169, health officials said.

There are approximately 10.1 million residents in LA County.

Of the newly deceased, 21 had underlying health conditions and 16 were older than 65, factors that account for a vast majority of the deaths to date.

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," according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

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

Minority populations, especially black communities, suffer from a disproportionate rate of underlying health conditions and have been among the hardest hit in the nation.

The Los Angeles Times on Monday reported that LA County health officials had failed to collect data on the race or ethnicity of half the local victims and are now scrambling to catch up.

A recent analysis on confirmed coronavirus cases by the Times found that "many of L.A. County’s whitest and wealthiest enclaves were reporting far higher rates of infection than poorer neighborhoods of color."

The reporting, health officials said, "was likely skewed by uneven access to testing and, in some instances, by wealthy residents who traveled internationally and had some of the earliest confirmed infections," according to the paper.

To date, 1,510 people who tested positive for COVID-19 -- 22 percent of positive cases -- have been hospitalized at some point during their illness, County officials said.

The leveling of new confirmed cases comes as testing capacity continues to increase countywide.

More than 35,000 individuals had been tested as of Tuesday, up from fewer than 29,000 on Friday. Of those tested, 14 percent were positive.

County health officials note that a "significant number" of those infected show no signs of symptoms and are "capable of spreading the virus."

Health officials advise members of the public to wash their hands frequently, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid being around sick people.

They also should practice physical distancing, especially by staying at home and wearing "non-medical cloth face coverings when out procuring or providing essential services."

“This week, and perhaps next week, it is even more important that we all stay home as much as possible," said County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

"Adapting to life at home can be challenging, causing feelings of isolation and stress. Please continue to connect with friends and family, and show kindness and compassion for the people in your life."

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