Manhattan Beach suffers first COVID-19 death since winter
by Mark McDermott
The latest surge in COVID-19 cases propelled by the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus this week claimed the life of a Manhattan Beach resident, the first death from the pandemic locally since last winter. Los Angeles County likewise reached a grim milestone, surpassing 25,000 deaths due to COVID-19, including an average of 25 deaths a day over the last week.
“We’re all concerned about where COVID is going in the county and country and certainly in Manhattan Beach,” City Manager Bruce Moe said Tuesday night, while giving an update to the City Council. “Right now in Manhattan Beach, we have, since the inception of the pandemic, 1,817 cases. To put that in perspective that’s 223 more than the last council meeting, when we met on August 3. We sadly have had one additional death that was recorded yesterday in Manhattan Beach, bringing our total to 18. That was the first death we’ve had in six months.”
Moe said that the city is averaging 10 new COVID-19 cases a day. In June, cases had receded to averaging fewer than a case a day. At the peak, during the winter surge, the city averaged 14 cases per day.
He also noted 81 percent of city employees are vaccinated and that those who are not are now required to be tested weekly. Citywide, 84 percent of eligible residents, those over 12, have been vaccinated, including nearly all residents over 65. This is far above the county average. Only 55 percent of 10.3 million LA County residents are fully vaccinated. Among residents over 65, 90 percent are fully vaccinated.
“Losses we suffer now are particularly sad because almost all of them are preventable with extremely safe and widely available vaccines,” said Barbara Ferrer, the director of the LA County Department of Public Health. “The most effective tool for slowing the spread is the vaccine.” ER