Over 200 confirmed cases in LA County
By Sam Catanzaro
As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to grow, including additional Santa Monica cases, local officials have put forward measures to increase healthcare capacity.
On Thursday, March 19 the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirmed 40 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 231, including three in Santa Monica.
In addition, Public Health has confirmed four cases in Venice, four in Beverly Hills, three in Culver City, 13 in Brentwood, one in Mar Vista and two in West Los Angeles.
“We will see an increase in positive cases today, tomorrow and for the coming weeks, but that doesn’t mean our actions to slow the spread of the virus are not working. The measures we are taking in LA County will help flatten the curve,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
In preparation for the anticipated case increase, the City of Santa Monica has implemented measures to better equip healthcare providers and social services.
Under an emergency ordinance signed this week by City Manager Rick Cole, public safety facilities, hospitals, clinics and emergency shelters are permitted in all zoning districts. No conditional use permit or temporary use permit is required for any of the above-listed uses and all development standards, design review, parking and access requirements and sign standards related to these uses may be waived, according to the City.
In addition, the rules also allow for drive-through facilities related to the provision of public safety, medical, or food or pharmacy goods or services.