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New Coronavirus Cases in Santa Monica Remained Steady Last Week
By Jorge Casuso
September 8, 2020 -- Coronavirus cases remained steady in Santa Monica last week, as large crowds flocked to local beaches during Labor Day weekend despite warnings from public health officials.
There were 37 new cases reported in Santa Monica last week, up two from the 35 cases reported the previous week. Three new deaths were reported, bringing the total to 43.
Sunday marks the fifth straight week Santa Monica registered fewer than 40 cases and brings the total number of confirmed cases to 816 in the city of some 93,000.
The number of cases likely reflects a reporting lag and the closure of testing sites over the weekend.
On Sunday, the County Department of Public Health confirmed five new deaths and 798 new cases, as the the number of weekly cases continues to drop.
The results include cases from prior to the previous day and do not represent true day-over-day change, County officials said.
The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has continued to drop since July, from a seven-day average of 2,883 new cases on July 31 to 1,143, cases Sunday, a 60 percent decrease.
Hospitalization dropped below 1,000 on Sunday to 966 -- down from 1,043 last Sunday, and from 2,220 on July 31. About one-third of those hospitalized are in the ICU.
County health officials worry that the crowds that lined coastal beaches, including Santa Monica's, during a record-breaking heat wave this weekend, could lead to a spike in deaths and hospitalizations.
"After the Memorial Day and July 4th holidays we saw increases in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths," health officials said.
They attributed the spike in part to crowded barbecues and parties that included those who are not part of the household.
"It is nonsense to believe that parties and gatherings are essential for our well-being," said County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
"Parties and gatherings lead to unnecessary exposures and make it that much harder to lower the rate of community transmission," Ferrer said.
As of 8 p.m. Sunday, there were 248,334 total confirmed cases and 6,005 deaths in the County of more than 10 million.
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