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Santa Monica Coronavirus Cases Remain Steady as County Reports Sudden Spike

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By Jorge Casuso

April 14, 2020 -- Four new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Santa Monica on Tuesday, following none on Monday, while Los Angeles County saw its biggest spike in deaths since the first was reported more than a month ago.

The four new cases in Santa Monica follow a week when the city saw the number of weekly cases drop from 27 to 24.

Monday marked the first day since March 9 that Santa Monica had no confirmed cases of the virus.

So far there have been 96 cases of the coronavirus reported in Santa Monica and 10,047 in LA County, with 670 new cases confirmed Tuesday.

The sudden spike countywide comes after public health officials confirmed 239 new cases on Monday in the County of 10 million.

There have been 360 deaths countywide, with the 40 reported on Tuesday marking the greatest number since the first coronavirus death was reported on March 11.

Twenty-two of the the 40 persons who died had underlying health conditions and 25 were older than 65, health officials said.

Four of the deceased were between 41 and 65 had no reported underlying health conditions.

Eighty-five percent of those who have died had underlying health conditions, according to public health officials.

Those conditions include "chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, severe obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis and liver disease," according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)).

To date, public health officials have identified 10,047 positive cases of COVID-19. Testing results are now available for 63,000 people -- up from 27,000 on April 3 -- with 11 percent of those testing positive.

The County on Friday extended until May 15 its stay-at-home order to further flatten the curve, a move some epidemiologists warn will prolong the pandemic ("Santa Monica Sees One-Day Jump in Coronavirus Cases as County Curve Flattens," April 10, 2020).

“While we are effectively working together to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we must keep at it to avoid a surge in cases and deaths that could overwhelm our County -- we do not want to lose ground," said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the County's Public Health Director.

"That means we must keep doing what we’re doing for now – staying home, physical distancing and using cloth face coverings – while we implement strategies to support our recovery," Ferrer said.

The County's extended order requires those who work at essential businesses, as well as customers, to wear a cloth face covering effective April 15.

Under the County's new order, "all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit remain prohibited," County officials said.

Beaches, trails and trailheads and non-essential businesses remain closed.

On Monday, City officials said the government-mandated shutdown will cost the City an estimated $226 million in lost revenues by July 2021.

The deficit will force the City to immediately slash services and offer buyouts to several hundred employees ("City Faces $226 Million Budget Gap Due to Coronavirus Shutdown," April 13, 2020).

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