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By Jorge Casuso
October 25, 2022 -- Coronavirus cases in Santa Monica rose by 22 last week, while the number of virus-related deaths remained steady for the third week in a row, according to LA County Health data.
The 73 COVID cases reported last week in the city -- up from 51 the previous week -- bring the total number of cases to 24,239 in the city of some 93,000.
Meanwhile, virus-relate deaths -- which typically take about two weeks to report -- have remained at 274, according to the data.
Despite the increase in local cases, the weekly tally remains below the five-month low of 82 cases reported one month ago, according to an analysis of the data.
The drop -- from a record 1,902 cases reported in early January -- reflects a countywide trend that has seen confirmed cases continue to decrease.
As of Friday, the seven-day average case count in the County of more than 10 million was 874, an 8 percent decline from 946 cases reported a week earlier.
During the same seven-day period, the average number of daily COVID-positive patients in LA County hospitals also declined -- from 467 patients to 404, a 13 percent decline.
By Tuesday, the number of patients occupying the County's 19,500 licensed hospital beds had dropped to 375, according to County data.
Meanwhile, deaths have remained relatively stable at a daily average of 10 to 12 over the past several weeks.
The County has been in the “low” community transmission level for eight straight weeks and could move to "moderate" transmission levels this week, health officials said on Thursday.
The Omicron BA.5 variant is still the most dominant subvariant of the virus, accounting for 88 percent of sequenced cases for the week ending October 1, Health officials said.
Still, that marked a slight but steady drop from 91 percent of the cases the prior week and 93 percent several weeks before than.
According to Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, the BA.5 variant "appears to be gradually accounting for fewer sequenced specimens, indicating that other variants could become more dominant in the future.”
On Tuesday, Public Health reported a total of 3,482,181 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and 33,889 virus-related deaths.
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