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By Jorge Casuso

October 20, 2020 -- Reports of serious crime in Santa Monica dropped by about 16 percent last year, following a dramatic rise each year since 2014, according to Police Department data collected by the FBI.

The previous weekly record for fewest cases was 12 reported during the first week of the pandemic, when the first case was confirmed in Santa Monica on March 16.

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The new cases bring the total number of confirmed cases to 950, while the number of deaths held steady at 40 in the city of 93,000.

The sudden drop in weekly cases came after Santa Monica recorded 42 new cases the previous week, the highest level in more than two months, according to an analysis of County health data by the Lookout.

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The number of Santa Monica residents who had COVID-19 when they died was adjusted down from 43 in the week ending September 6 to 40 two weeks ago after further investigation by health officials.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases in LA County rose to 289,366 as of 8 p.m. Sunday, while the number of those who have died with the virus in the County of more than 10 million rose to 6,877.

The number of new cases has remained at a weekly average of 1,000 or fewer per day, down from more that 2,500 in late July.

The number of hospitalizations countywide rose from 693 people the previous Sunday to 722 yesterday, with 27 percent in the ICU.

Patients over 50 make up 60 percent of people hospitalized with COVID-19, while those between the ages of 18 and 29 make up 10 percent of all hospitalizations, up from 5 percent in mid-May.

"Younger groups are driving L.A. County’s case counts," according to health officials, who note that those between the ages of 12 and 50 account for 68 percent of new cases.

Ninety-three percent of the LA County residents who died with COVID-19 had underlying health conditions, County officials said. The most common underlying condition was hypertension, followed by diabetes and cariovascular disease.

Testing results are available for nearly 2.9 million individuals across the County, with 9 percent testing positive.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article reported there were two new cases confirmed in Santa Monica last week. That number did not include three cases confirmed between 8 p.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Sunday.

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