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Local Coronavirus Cases Keep Dropping

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By Jorge Casuso

September 26, 2022 -- After hitting a five-month low, coronavirus cases continued dropping in Santa Monica last week, although virus-related deaths continued to persist.

There were 82 COVID-19 cases confirmed in the city of some 93,000 last week, down from 96 cases the previous week, according to data from LA County Public Health.

That brings the total number of cases to 23,935 since a health emergency was declared by State, County and City officials more than two-and-a-half years ago.

There have been 272 local virus-related deaths since the start of the pandemic, with three new deaths reported last week.

Virus-related deaths are typically reported two weeks after cases are confirmed, but despite a steady drop in local cases, the weekly death rate has varied little.

Over the past ten weeks, 22 Santa Monica residents have died with the virus, according to Public Health data.

During the same period, local COVID cases plummeted, from 556 confirmed cases to 82.

The steady drop in local cases reflects a downward trend across the County of more than 10 million, which saw the weekly case rate drop to close to 100 per 100,000 residents.

The drop prompted health officials last Friday to "shift from strongly recommending indoor masking for the general public to individual preference unless required by the site."

On Friday, the seven-day average case count in the county was 1,396, down from 1,675 cases a week earlier, a 17 percent drop.

Over the same seven days, the average number of daily COVID-positive patients per day dropped to 602, down from 713, a 16 percent drop.

Nearly half of the COVID patients are admitted for other reasons and learn they have the virus after they are tested upon admission, health officials have said.

Virus-related deaths, meanwhile, decreased slightly to 12 reported each day, down from an average of 14 daily reported deaths a week earlier.

There are currently 1.9 million unvaccinated residents ages 6 months and older, according to County health officials

Of the 7.5 million County residents ages 5 and older who are fully vaccinated, 57 percent have not received a booster.

Latino and Black parents are far more hesitant to have children ages 5 to 11 vaccinated. Only 22 percent of the children in that age group have been vaccinated, compared to 42 percent of White children and 61 percent of Asian children.

Young Latino and Black adults ages 18 to 29 also had significantly lower vaccination rates.

Some 58 percent of Latinos and about 48 of blacks were vaccinated, compared to 91 percent of Asian residents and nearly 77 percent of White residents in the same age group.

As of Sunday, there were 3,450,411 confirmed coronavirus cases in LA County, and 33,565 virus-related deaths, according to the data.

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