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By Jorge Casuso

October 23, 2020 -- Cornonavirus cases in Santa Monica have skyrocketed this week after County Health officials began clearing a large backlog of cases.

The backlog -- due to technical issues with data reporting systems over the past several days -- accounted for a spike in the number of confirmed cases in Santa Monica from a record low 5 new cases last week to 45 cases through Thursday.

City Employees' Council Endorsements

The biggest increases were reported on Wednesday and Thursday, which accounted for 31 of the new cases, bringing the total number of reported cases in the city of 93,000 to 998.

On Friday, the County Public Health Department said it "anticipates receiving additional backlog test results over the next few days."

Phil Brock for Council

That could put Santa Monica on track to break the record 65 weekly cases confirmed in the week ending July 12.

The number of those who have died with the virus in Santa Monica held steady at 40 as of 8 p.m. Thursday.

As health officials began clearing the backlog this week, the County of more than 10 million saw a dramatic rise in new cases, which jumped from a total of 1,223 on Monday and Tuesday to 6,373 on Wednesday and Thursday.

The number of confirmed cases countywide has been creeping up over the past two months -- from an average of fewer than 800 new cases per day from early August to early September to about 1,000 new cases.

As of 8 p.m. Thursday, there has been a total of 296,821 positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed countywide, and a total of 6,974 people with the virus have died.

Of those who have died, 93 percent had pre-existing conditions, the most common of which was was hypertension, followed by diabetes and cariovascular disease.

Nearly 3 million Los Angeles County residents have been tested, with 9 percent testing positive. As of Wednesday, 31,747 Santa Monica residents had been tested.

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