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Coronavirus Cases in Santa Monica Dipped Last Week
 

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By Jorge Casuso

May 18, 2020 -- The number of coronavirus cases confirmed in Santa Monica dipped to 58 last week, five fewer than the previous week, while six patients of local nursing homes and three Santa Monica residents who had the virus died.

As of Sunday, the total number of COVID-19 cases reported among Santa Monica residents was 241, while the death toll was 14, according to data provided by the Los Angeles County Public Health Department.

There were 35 cases reported in Santa Monica last week, the same as the previous week, and 23 cases at local nursing homes, down from 28.

Nursing homes have reported 162 cases to date -- 113 among residents and 49 among staff.

Three nursing homes -- Beachwood Post-Acute & Rehab, Ocean Pointe Healthcare Center and the Rehabilitation Center of Santa Monica -- account for 91 percent of the cases and all but one of the 23 deaths.

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

County health officials reported 694 new cases of COVID-19 and 29 deaths on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 37,974 and the death toll to 1,821 in the county of some 10 million.

Of those who died Sunday, 24 were over the age of 65 and 16 had underlying health conditions, County officials said. Of those who have died to date, 92 percent had underlying health conditions.

As the County opens up more venues -- including beaches and low-risk retailers who can sell merchandise curbside -- health officials are asking those with underlying health conditions to stay home.

The conditions include chronic lung disease, asthma, a serious heart condition, HIV, or other condition that affects the immune system, health officials said.

“More people will be out of their homes now that we are in the early stages of our recovery journey, and this means there will be more chances of coming in contact with asymptomatic people who are infected with COVID-19," said County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

It is important that those with underlying health conditions continue to do their best to stay home as much as possible and avoid close contact with others, Ferrer said.

"If you begin to feel sick contact your provider immediately," she said. "It’s also a good idea to talk to employers and friends and let them know you are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19.”

To date, 5,816 people who tested positive for the virus-- 16 percent of positive cases -- have been hospitalized at some point during their illness, health officials said.

There are 1,648 people who are currently hospitalized. Of those, 26 percent are in the ICU and 19 percent are on ventilators.

The number of confirmed cases is expected to rise as testing capacity increases, with results now available for more that 309,000 individuals, 11 percent of whom tested positive.

Earlier this month a walk-up facility offering free coronavirus testing with an appointment opened at Santa Monica College (SMC) ("Free Coronavirus Tests Offered at Santa Monica College," May 8, 2020).


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