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Coronavirus Cases in Santa Monica Approach 300 When Nursing Homes Are Included
 

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By Jorge Casuso

May 4, 2020 -- Los Angeles County Health Department data indicates that there have been a total of 282 coronavirus cases in Santa Monica, with 40 percent of those in local nursing homes.

Numbers released by the County on Sunday show that there were a total of 171 cases of the virus confirmed in Santa Monica and 111 cases in five local nursing homes.

The County data makes it unclear whether the cases overlap, but an analysis by The Lookout shows that the number of cases reported for the city rose by 21 last week, while the nursing home tally rose by 34.

The 21 cases reported in Santa Monica last week marked the lowest weekly total since 12 cases were reported between March 17, when the first case was confirmed, and March 23.

The tally follows a slight, but steady, decrease in reported weekly cases in the city of some 93,000.

Over the past month, the weekly totals for Santa Monica dropped from 27 to 24 to 23 to 21, despite a dramatic boost in testing countywide.

Meanwhile, the number of cases at local nursing homes has jumped over the last ten days from 66, when the County first reported cases for "institutional settings," to 111 on Sunday.

Of those who have tested positive, 71 are nursing home residents and 40 are staff.

There have been 12 deaths in local nursing homes -- nine at the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica and three at Beachwood Post-Acute & Rehab.

That's more than the nine deaths confirmed Citywide ("Death Toll Higher at Two Santa Monica Nursing Homes than City At Large," April 29, 2020).

County data makes it unclear if those who die at local nursing homes are among the Santa Monica residents included in the city's count.

The confirmed cases reported in Santa Monica on Sunday were among the 781 new cases of COVID-19 reported countywide, bringing the total to 25,662.

A total of 1,229 people had the coronavirus when they died, with 21 new deaths reported Sunday.

Of the deaths reported Sunday, 15 were over the age of 65 and 11 had underlying health conditions.

To date, 92 percent of those who had the virus when they died suffered from underlying health conditions, and nearly half of the deaths were in nursing homes.

An order issued on March 30 by the California Department of Health forced skilled nursing facilities (SNF) to accept patients infected with the coronavirus in an effort to free up hospital beds.

"SNFs shall not refuse to admit or readmit a resident based on their status as a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case," the order read.

"SNFs shall institute appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of infection to health care personnel and other residents."

Two Santa Monica facilities account for more than 70 percent of the cases at local nursing homes.

The Rehabilitation Center has had 29 residents and 14 staff members test positive, while 23 residents and 13 staff have tested positive at Beachwood.

Fifteen residents and six staff have tested positive for COVID-19 at Ocean Pointe Healthcare Center, three residents and seven staff at Brentwood Health Care Center and one resident has tested positive at Brookdale Ocean House Assisted Living.

To date, 4,715 people who tested positive for COVID-19 -- 22 percent of positive cases -- have been hospitalized at some point during their illness, County health officials said.

Testing capacity continues to increase in LA County, with testing results available for nearly 159,000 individuals, with 14 percent testing positive, officials said.


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