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COVID Cases See Dramatic Surge in Santa Monica
 

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By Jorge Casuso

July 5, 2022 -- The number of coronavirus cases in Santa Monica nearly tripled over the past week, reaching the highest level in five months, according to Los Angeles County Health data.

The 556 cases reported last week were the most since 724 cases were reported in the last week of January and brings the total number of local cases to 21,319.

The surge comes after the number of weekly cases in the city of some 93,000 had steadily dropped from a high of 506 reported a month ago.

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There was one COVID-related death reported in Santa Monica last week, bringing the total to 250, according to County Health officials, who note it typically takes two weeks to report a death.

The surge comes as Health officials warn of the spread of two super-contagious Omicron subvariants -- BA.4 and BA.5 -- across the State and County.

As of last Thursday, a total of 167 positive, sequenced specimens of the two subvariants have been detected -– 86 of BA.4 and 81 of BA.5, accounting for nearly 10 percent of positive specimens a month ago.

Nationwide, the two subvariants accounted for a little more than a third of the specimens three weeks ago, up from 5 percent a month earlier, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

"These BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron are of special concern because of their apparent ability to cause re-infections in people who were infected with other Omicron subvariants," Health officials said.

The County remains at the CDC designated COVID-19 Medium Community Level based on the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) weekly cumulative rate of cases, hospital admissions and hospital beds occupied, County officials said.

"However, there are increasing concerns about the impact of new Omicron sub-variants on transmission and hospitalizations that could result in the County moving into the High Community Level designation sometime later this summer," County officials cautioned.

If the County moves into the high level and remains there for two consecutive weeks, Health officials will "implement a universal indoor masking requirement for everyone age 2 and older" until the County returns to the medium level for two consecutive weeks.

As of Sunday there have been a total of 3,140,615 cases confirmed in the County of more than 10 million and 32,361 coronavirus-related deaths.

Hospitalizations hovered aound 800 per day last week, according to County data. There is a total of 19,500 licensed hospital beds in LA County.


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