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Local Deaths with COVID Persist As Virus Wanes


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By Jorge Casuso

February 23, 2024 -- Three Santa Monica residents died with COVID-19 over the past month, while indicators of the virus continue to decrease countywide, according to data from LA County Public Health.

The three deaths -- which are typically reported one month after taking place -- come after seven residents were reported to have died with COVID over the prior three weeks.

The sudden increase comes as Public Health officials reported an average of 3.6 daily virus-related deaths over the past week in the County of some 10 million residents.

And it comes during a steady decrease countywide in the number of coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and wastewater concentrations of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Over the past week, Public Health reported 187 average daily COVID-19 cases, down from 218, although the laboratory confirmed cases do not include home tests.

Wastewater concentrations of SARS CoV-2 -- a more accurate indicator of the spread of the virus -- were at 30 percent of the 2022-2023 winter peak for the week ending February 10, down from 52 percent the previous week.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID also decreased to 376 during the week ending February 17, down from an average of 482 the previous week.

Meanwhile the 3.6 daily average COVID-related deaths marked a drop from an average of 5.7 the previous week.

In Santa Monica there were 231 laboratory confirmed cases reported over the past month, bringing the total to 28,228 since the first cases were detected in March 2020.

A total of 319 Santa Monica residents have died with the virus, although other factors most likely contributed to the deaths.

In LA County, a total of 3,871,785 cases have been confirmed and 37,416 residents have died with the virus, Health officials reported.

Santa Monica has one of the highest vaccination rates in the County, with 93.7 percent of residents over six months of age taking at least one dose, compared to 82 percent countywide.

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