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Quarter of Santa Monica COVID Cases Took Place Over Past Three Weeks

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Santa Monica

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By Jorge Casuso

November 30, 2020 -- One quarter of the 1,497 coronavirus cases reported in Santa Monica since March 16 have taken place over the past three weeks, according to an analysis of Los Angeles County data.

Meanwhile, the number of local residents who have died with the virus rose by two for the second week in a row, reaching 45. The four deaths were the first coronavirus-related deaths since the week ending August 30.

The numbers come as the city of 93,000 enters a County mandated lockdown, with COVID-19 cases topping 400,000, according to health officials.

A total of 400,919 cases and 7,655 virus-related deaths were confirmed in the County of more than 10 million. Of those who have died, 93 percent had underlying health conditions.

After hitting a record 131 weekly coronavirus cases earlier this month, the number of infections in Santa Monica dipped for a second straight week.

Last week, 120 new local cases were reported, down from 127 the previous week, according to data released by the Los Angeles County Public Health on Monday.

The sudden spike -- which reflects a countywide trend -- came after Santa Monica saw an average of 30 weekly cases for the 11 weeks beginning August 3 and ending October 18.

The County reported 5,150 new cases on Sunday, far higher than the 2,950 average cases on July 14 during a "summer surge," County officials said.

County hospitals have not been "overwhelmed" with patients, as "has been the case across the country and world," but health officials said they are bracing for an increase.

"Although currently we have adequate capacity at hospitals and there are extensive plans in place to take appropriate actions to manage the increases, a continued surge in cases and hospitalizations is not sustainable," officials said Monday.

The County Public Health Department said it expects hospitalizations and virus-related deaths to rise in the wake of holiday gatherings and travel.

"It is very possible that within a week, the County will experience the daily number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 around 2,500," officials said. "A week after that, the average daily number of deaths could be around 50 people."

According to data analyzed by the Lookout, the daily average number of deaths last week was 49.

There were 2,185 people with COVID-19 hospitalized on Sunday, with 24 percent in the ICU.

That represents about 524 patients in intensive care, down from 571 on July 31, when 1,904 patients were hospitalized, according to an analysis if the data.

On Monday, a countywide lockdown that will last through at least December 20 went into effect requiring residents to stay at home except to run essential errands ("New Lockdown Goes Into Effect," November 30, 2020).

The City also closed 17 playgrounds, limited swimming to one person per lane, reduced Farmers Market customer occupancy by 50 percent and closed all facilities between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

As of November 21, the County prohibited nonessential operations and gatherings from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., shut down non-essential businesses between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and banned dining out.

"Sadly, the recent surge in cases means there is no rest in sight," said County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who represents Santa Monica.

The dining ban, Kuehl said, represented "swift and decisive" action that needs to be taken to curb the spread of the virus.

"I believe this was a necessary and responsible decision that places people's lives above all other considerations," she said.

"In the long run, we can bring back jobs and businesses, but we cannot bring back a human life."

Many restaurant owners are worried they won't survive the latest lockdown, according to media reports.

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