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COVID Cases Rise in Santa Monica

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By Jorge Casuso

February 28, 2022 -- Three Santa Monica residents died with the coronavirus last week, as the number of confirmed cases rose for the first time in nearly two months.

The three deaths brings the total number of local residents who have died with the virus to 21 over the past six weeks, the most in nearly a year.

There were also two deaths reported in nursing homes in the city -- one at Berkley East Healthcare Center, the other at Brentwood Health Care Center.

The County does not report if those who die in local nursing homes are residents of the city.

At Berkley, 72 staff and 8 residents were infected with the virus, while 16 staff and 26 residents were infected at Brentwood.

There were 188 cases of COVID-19 reported in Santa Monica last week, up from 132 the previous week.

Last week saw the first increase in cases since a record 1,902 weekly cases were reported in early January, according to an analysis of County data.

As of Sunday, there were 16,463 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the beach city of some 93,000 residents. A total of 219 residents have died with the virus.

On Monday, County Health officials said there is increased access to "effective" therapeutics that can prevent severe illness and hospitalization.

"As L.A. County continues to slow community transmission of COVID-19, and access to effective therapeutics improves, equitable distribution of COVID-19 treatments is a critical issue," health officials said.

"As supply of these medicines increases, we need to be sure that information and access about therapeutics is available across the county, particularly in those communities with residents at elevated risk of poor outcomes should they become infected with COVID."

Five therapeutic options have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of COVID-19 in in those 12 and older who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness, officials said.

These include oral therapeutics, or pills, that must be taken within five days of the first symptoms and monoclonal antibody intravenous (IV) and antiviral infusions, which must be taken within seven to ten days depending on the medication.

"With the availability of these new powerful tools, we now have another strong layer of protection to help us mitigate the worst outcomes of COVID-19," said Public Heath Director Barbara Ferrer.

"These therapeutics, including COVID pills and infusions, are potentially lifesaving for residents at increased risk of disease, but they need to be administered quickly," Ferrer said.

To date, Public Health has reported a total of 2,796,560 positive cases of COVID-19 across the County of more than 10 million and 30,716 virus-related deaths.

There are 916 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, according to health officials. Testing results are available for more than 11,427,600 individuals, with 22 percent of them testing positive.

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