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Santa Monica Sees Weekly Spike in Covid Cases

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By Jorge Casuso

November 9, 2021 -- Coronavirus cases in Santa Monica jumped over the past two weeks after hitting a four-month low, as proof of vaccination kicked in for select businesses in LA County and children began to be vaccinated.

There were 77 Covid-19 cases confirmed in Santa Monica last week and 91 the week before, bringing the total to 6,874 in the city of some 93,000 as of Sunday, according to LA County Health data.

The 168 bi-weekly cases compares to 98 reported over the previous two weeks that marked the lowest level since June. The number of virus-related deaths remained at 189.

The weekly spikes come as the County last Thursday began requiring proof of vaccination and photo ID for patrons and employees of indoor bars, breweries, wineries, distilleries, nightclubs and lounges.

"Patrons now need to be fully vaccinated to be indoors at any of these establishments," County health officials said.

There has been a high compliance rate with County Health orders so far, officials said.

Between October 30 and November 5, inspectors sent to check if businesses were complying with face mask and vaccine mandates issued only six citations.

During that period, 93 percent of bars, 94 percent of nightclubs and 100 percent of lounges inspected were in compliance with customer vaccination verification requirements.

Compliance was much lower for "employee masking," with only 68 percent of garment manufacturers, 67 percent of office sites, 80 percent of nightclubs, 82 percent of lounges and 85 percent of bars in compliance.

Los Angeles imposed the strictest vaccine mandate of any large U.S. city Monday, launching a verification program called SafePassLA that requires proof of full vaccination to enter a number of businesses that don't serve alcohol.

These include the indoor portions of restaurants, coffee shops, gyms, spas, nail salons, barbershops, movie theaters, shopping malls and entertainment and recreation venues.

It also includes indoor portions of City facilities such as LA City Hall and senior, recreation and service centers.

County health officials last week also gave the go ahead to begin vaccinating children between the ages of 5 and 11.

During a presentation October 26, officials at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said children are at least as likely to contract the coronavirus as adults.

But while 1.9 million Covid cases have been reported within that age group, only 94 children died with the virus between January 1, 2020 and October 16, 2021.

To date, 8,300 children between the ages of 5 and 11 have been hospitalized with Covid, including those who tested positive after entering the hospital for other reasons.

As with adults, most of the children hospitalized with Covid had a variety of serious underlying health conditions that included obesity, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease and neurological disorders, according to the CDC.

As of Sunday, Public Health had identified 1,503,664 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County and a total of 26,752 coronavirus-related deaths.

There are 655 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized in the county of more than 10 million residents.

Testing results are available for nearly 9,171,000 individuals with 15 percent testing positive. Sunday’s test positivity rate was 1.1 percent.

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