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Santa Monica Reaches 150 Confirmed Coronavirus Cases

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By Jorge Casuso

April 27, 2020 -- The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Santa Monica reached 150 on Sunday after three cases were reported in the beach city over the weekend.

They were among the 440 cases of COVID-19 reported by Los Angeles County Health Officials on Sunday after a backlog of cases and increased testing boosted the daily tally to more than 1,000 for five straight days.

Sunday's reported cases brought the weekly total to a record 7,372 cases, or an average of 1,053 a day.

There have been 19,528 cases of the cornavirus reported to date in the County of 10 million residents, although a study indicates that number is likely 28 to 55 times higher ("Coronavirus Fatality Rate "Much Lower" Than Previously Thought, LA County Health Officials Say," April 20, 2020).

Santa Monica also saw the number of confirmed cases spike to 35 this week, up from 23 cases the previous week due to the jump in testing and results reported.

There were 18 new deaths reported in Los Angeles County Sunday, bringing the total to date to 913. It capped a week that saw the number of deaths average 45 a day.

Of those whose deaths were reported Sunday, 15 had underlying health conditions and 13 were over the age of 65, County health officials said.

These 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, 93 percent of those who have died in LA County had underlying health conditions and some 40 percent were in nursing homes, health officials said.

Nine deaths have been reported in Santa Monica long-term care facilities ("Nine Deaths Confirmed at Santa Monica Nursing Homes," April 23, 2020).

Fifty residents in Santa Monica institutional settings and 27 staff have tested positive for the coronavirus, health officials reported Sunday.

It is not known how many of those who died or tested positive in the institutional settings are Santa Monica residents.

LA County officials reported that those who live in lower-income communities are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those living in wealthier communities.

The death rate in communities where 30 to 100 percent of residents are living in poverty is 16.5 deaths per 100,000, more than triple the 5.3 deaths per 100,000 in communities where fewer than 10 percent of residents are living in poverty.

About 10 percent of Santa Monica residents had an income below the poverty level in 2017.

“As we have more information about who is dying, we are reminded that the work ahead requires that we address issues of disproportionality that result in higher rates of death among African Americans, Latinx and Asians as well as residents living in poverty," said LA County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

"Ensuring access to testing, early treatment and care, and economic support among those communities at higher risk of devastating outcomes associated with COVID-19, is essential," Ferrer said.

To date, 4,380 people who tested positive for COVID-19 -- or 23 percent of positive cases -- have been hospitalized at some point during their illness.

The increase in confirmed cases coincides with a rapid increase in testing -- from fewer than 30,000 on April 10 to more than 117,000. Of those tested, 14 percent were positive.

Coronavirus deaths include all those who had the virus when they died, according to the standard being used by health officials.

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