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Santa Monica Orders Residents to Wear Face Coverings Outdoors, Confirmed Cases at 224
 

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By Jorge Casuso

May 14, 2020 -- Following the County's lead, all Santa Monica residents must wear cloth face coverings in public as the City on Thursday extended the coronavirus emergency and all associated orders to June 30.

Face coverings -- previously required when conducting business -- must now be worn when residents are out and around people outside of their household.

The extended order exempts face coverings during water activities and for children under two and individuals who have breathing difficulties.

It also exempts those "unable to remove a cloth face covering without assistance, or have a disability that prevents the use of a cloth face covering," City officials said.

All social/physical distancing requirements remain in place, officials said.

The new order comes as the total number of confirmed cases in Santa Monica rose on Thursday to 224 and the death toll reached 14 in the City of approximately 93,000.

Twenty-eight of the confirmed cases and three deaths have taken place this week, according to County data.

Local nursing homes have reported a total of 147 cases -- 98 among residents and 49 among staff -- and 21 deaths, with four taking place this week.

County data does not indicate if any of the local nursing home residents who have died are among the Santa Monica residents included in the city's death toll.

A new County healthn order issued Wednesday allows retailers and manufacturers, select recreational facilities and beaches to reopen, although activities are limited to surfing, swimming, walking and jogging.

All Santa Monica parks will be open, including Palisades Park, for safe outdoor recreation, and the tennis courts at Reed Park will reopen for singles play this weekend with other courts opening in the weeks to come.

All retailers can reopen for curbside, door-side, outside pickup, or delivery only. Customers are prohibited from entering the stores.

Manufacturing and logistic businesses that supply retail businesses also can reopen.

Before reopening, businesses are required to "prepare, implement and post their plan for adhering to directives including distancing and infection control practices that protect both employees and customers," County officials said.

The County reported 925 new cases on Thursday and 51 new deaths, bringing the total number of cases to 35,329 and the death toll to 925 in the county of about 10 million residents.

Of the new deaths, 43 of those who had COVID-19 when they died had underlying health conditions and 35 were over the age of 65.

Ninety-two percent of those who have died had underlying health conditions and about half were in nursing homes, according to health officials.

To date, 5,660 people who tested positive for COVID-19 -- 16 percent of positive cases -- have been hospitalized at some point during their illness.

There are 1,742 people who are currently hospitalized, with 26 percent in the ICU and 19 percent on ventilators.

Testing capacity continues to increase in LA County, with results available for more than 272,000 individuals, 11 percent of whom have tested positive.

For the latest information, visit santamonica.gov/coronavirus, or call the City’s Coronavirus Hotline at (310) 458-8400.


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