For the second week in a row, Malibu’s rate of confirmed novel coronavirus cases increased, with 12 residents testing positive for the virus from July 6-12. 

In the entire month of June 2021, just five residents contracted the virus. From July 1-12, 19 residents have tested positive, a nearly four-fold increase in only the first half of the month. 

In total, 466 Malibuites have tested positive for the virus since testing began in April 2020. The disease has taken the life of eight residents. 

The local increase reflects an upswing across the Los Angeles County area following the “full reopening” of California June 15, when nearly all mask mandates and social distancing requirements were dropped. Even with July increases, Malibu case numbers remain among the lowest in LA County. 

After months of gradual but consistent decreases, hospitalizations and deaths were again on the rise in LA County, according to statistics made available by the LA County Department of Public Health. According to LA

Times’ reporting, unvaccinated people made up 99 percent of hospitalizations and deaths. 

In the first weeks of July, headlines screamed warnings about the newest strain of the virus, called the Delta variant. “Fast-spreading Delta variant has hospitals bracing for another COVID wave,” a headline published by Fortune on July 11 stated. PBS said the Delta variant was causing an “explosion of cases among the unvaccinated.”

Malibu’s vaccination rate went up 0.4 percentage points in the second week of July with an additional 39 residents receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In Malibu, 59.2 percent of those ages 16 and up have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. However, Malibu’s rate remained well below the county average, which reached 69.2 percent for residents ages 16 and up. In order for Malibu to align with the county average, an additional 650 residents need to receive at least one dose.

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