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Santa Monica Sees Drop in COVID-19 Cases, Related Deaths

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Jorge Casuso

January 19, 2021 -- Weekly coronavirus cases and related deaths dropped in Santa Monica last week as Los Angeles County surpassed the 1 million mark in reported cases.

There were 293 coronavirus cases reported in Santa Monica last week -- down from 357 the previous week -- and eight related deaths, down from a record 16, according to County Public Health data released Monday.

That brings the total number of cases in the City of some 93,000 to 3,351 as of 6 p.m. Sunday. A total of 96 Santa Monica residents have died with the virus since the first case was reported on March 16.

Thirteen cases were reported among staff at the City's Public Safety Facility, and two homeless "encampments" accounted for three confirmed cases each, according to the County data.

The new cases come as Los Angeles County surpassed 1 million cases this weekend, bringing the total to 1,014,662 reported cases as of Sunday.

A total of 13,848 County residents have died with the virus, 2,000 of them during a recent seven-day period, County health officials said.

There were 7,328 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 on Sunday, with 23 percent -- or about 1,685 -- in the ICU. That marks a decrease from 7,910 cases the previous week, with about 1,740 in the ICU.

There are approximately 17,000 licensed non-ICU beds and 2,500 licensed ICU beds in the County's 70 designated 9-1-1 receiving hospitals, based on hospitals' daily self-report.

Currently, there is "O% available ICU capacity" in Southern California, County health officials said Monday.

City officials last week confirmed that the first LA County resident had tested positive for B.1.1.7, the U.K. variant of the virus.

Although there is "no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death," the presence of the variant "means virus transmission can happen more easily," health officials said.

The variant is expected to become the more dominant strain in the U.S. by March, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

As of Thursday, the county had administered more than 279,000 doses of vaccine to health care workers and staff and residents of skilled nursing and long-term care facilities, health officials said.

Under an executive order signed by County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis on Monday, County residents 65 and older can begin receiving vaccines later this week.

"It will take a few more months before there is enough vaccine supply available and enough people vaccinated to provide us with the level of protection needed to end the pandemic," health officials said.

As many as one-third of LA County's 10 million residents have already been infected, although most may not have known it, health officials said.

The vast majority of those who have died or been hospitalized with COVID-19 have had underlying health conditions, according to County and national data.

Testing results are available for nearly 5,250,000 County residents, with 18 percent testing positive.

Latinos continue to account for the largest number of confirmed cases, with 446,344, followed by White residents with 92,892, Asians with 39,750 cases and Black residents with 32,457.

Nearly 250,000 cases are still under investigation. The case numbers do not include Long Beach and Pasadena.

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