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Weekly COVID Cases Rise in Santa Monica
 

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Santa Monica

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By Jorge Casuso

September 21, 2021 -- Santa Monica saw an increase in the number of coronavirus cases last week after reaching the lowest level in two months, while virus-related deaths remained steady, according to County Health data.

There were 96 confirmed cases last week -- up from 80 the previous week -- and 186 deaths among the 6,437 Santa Monica residents who have tested positive since the first COVID case was confirmed 18 months ago.

The new cases represent a leveling off in the city of 93,000, which reported a peak of 343 cases during the week ending July 25, as the Delta variant began rapidly spreading across the County.

The variant now accounts for 100 percent of the COVID-19 strains seen among samples sequenced in the Los Angeles County area, according to County Health officials.

"The Delta variant is more infectious and more efficiently transmitted between people compared with earlier COVID-19 strains and because Delta is more infectious, this variant has crowded out other strains," officials said.

Although less deadly, the spread of the variant has prompted State and County officials to re-impose mask mandates for indoor public spaces and to require vaccination verification or a negative test prior to entry to all event venues by October 7. Children under 12 are exempt.

The Health Officer Order issued Friday also requires vaccination verification for customers and employees at indoor portions of bars, lounges, nightclubs, breweries, wineries and distilleries.

The County also is continuing to deploy inspectors to businesses "every day to ensure compliance with required safety measures and masking guidelines, provide technical assistance, and respond to complaints of non-compliance," health officials said.

Between September 4 and September 10, Public Health inspectors visited 1,637 businesses and venues, including 909 restaurants and 45 gyms and fitness centers.

A total of eight citations were issued to businesses, including fitness centers and restaurants, for noncompliance with Health Officer Orders, officials said.

"Overall, the compliance inspections revealed that while the majority of businesses were in compliance, there continues to be room for improvement with employee and customer masking at fitness centers, garment manufacturing plants, and retail stores," County officials said.

As of Sunday, Public Health had identified 1,445,121 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 25,838 deaths.

While health officials note that the vast majority of those infected have not been vaccinated, the Delta variant has been identified among the more than 5.4 million fully vaccinated people in L.A.

As of September 14, health officials identified 47,276 fully vaccinated residents who tested positive for COVID-19, an 8 percent increase over the previous week. Of those who tested positive, 1,359 were hospitalized, up from 1,243.

Over the previous week, 34 people who were fully vaccinated died with the virus, bringing the total of virus-related deaths to 199.

"Because the vaccines don’t provide 100 percent protection, we need to continue to layer in other protections where there is high risk of transmission and vulnerable residents," County officials said.

In Santa Monica, 83.8 percent of those over 16 were vaccinated as of Friday.


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