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Three New Coronavirus Cases Reported in Santa Monica
By Jorge Casuso
April 24, 2020 -- There were three new coronavirus cases confirmed in Santa Monica Friday, with the number of deaths in local homes holding steady after nine were reported Thursday.
The new cases confirmed by the Los Angeles County Health Department brings the total in the beach city to 147, up from 144 on Thursday.
They were among 1,035 new cases of the coronavirus confirmed countywide on Friday, as testing capacity continued to increase over the past two weeks -- from less than 30,000 to more than 108,000.
Of the 18,517 persons who have tested positive for the virus, 4,211 -- or 24 percent -- have been hospitalized at some point during their illness, County health officials said.
Fifty-two deaths were reported Friday, down from 68 on Thursday, bringing the death toll to 848 to date in the County of 10 million
Of the deaths reported Friday, 42 of those who died had underlying health conditions and 53 were over 65, health officials said.
Nearly 90 percent of those who have died in LA County had underlying health conditions and some 40 percent were in nursing homes, health officials said.
On Thursday, the County issued a new Health Officer Order for all licensed congregate healthcare facilities that includes measures to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and protect vulnerable residents, as well as staff.
The measures include "restricting all visitors, suspending all communal dining and activities to ensure physical distancing, screening frequent temperature checks for staff, patients and residents, and testing for all employees and residents," health officials said.
"Staff will be required to wear surgical masks at all times and personal protective equipment when appropriate.
"Residents will also need to wear surgical masks or cloth face coverings when they are outside of their personal room," officials said.
In Santa Monica, 50 residents in institutional settings and 25 staff have tested positive for the coronavirus, health officials reported. Nine have died.
Brentwood Health Care Center was the fifth local facility with confirmed cases of the coronavirus, after four staff and two residents were reported on Thursday to have tested positive.
To date, 21 residents and 10 staff members have tested positive at the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica, where six deaths have been reported.
Another 20 residents and 9 staff members have tested positive at Beachwood Post Acute & Rehab, where three deaths have been reported.
It is not known how many of those who tested positive in the institutional settings were residents of Santa Monica and included in the city's tally.
City officials fear area beaches could draw crowds as the region is gripped by record heat this weekend.
“For Angelenos, hot weather is normally beach weather," said Mayor Kevin McKeown. "Right now, is not a normal time.
On March 27, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health ordered the temporary closure of all public beaches, beach bike paths, public trails and beach access points.
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