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1772 - Spanish Capt. Pedro Fages arrives; camps at Agua Dulce, Castaic, Lake Elizabeth, Lebec, Tejon [story]
Pedro Fages


Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 256 new deaths and 9,277 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported three new deaths.

New cases are considerably lower this week, with a decrease of 30 percent in the seven-day average of daily cases from last week.

The test positivity rate has also dropped to 12.7 percent.

On Jan. 1, the test positivity rate was 20.8 percent; this is a reduction of 39 percent in three weeks.

On Nov. 1, just before our surge began, the County’s test positivity rate was 3.8 percent.

While we have come a long way this week with community transmission, we have a long road to go and must continue to practice infectious control measures: wear a face covering and maintain physical distance when out of your home.

“It is clear that careful actions many have been taking this month are making a difference,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “It is also apparent that the road ahead remains difficult.”

The Santa Clarita Valley has reached 22,557 total COVID-19 cases — 197 more than Thursday — and 169 deaths since the pandemic began.

To date, Public Health has identified 1,054,802 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 14,894 deaths.

“Through these difficult times, we mourn with all of you who have lost someone you love to COVID-19. We are deeply sorry for your loss,” said Ferrer.

There are currently 7,073 people hospitalized with COVID-19, and 24% of these people are in the ICU. Since last Friday, the daily number of people hospitalized has decreased by 642, down 8 percent.

According to the state, the Southern California Region continues to have 0% available ICU capacity.

Testing results are available for more than 5,326,000 individuals with 19% of all people testing positive.

Last weekend, Public Health reported the first confirmed sample of the U.K. variant in Los Angeles County.

Public Health continues to test samples for this and other known variants. It’s important to remember that viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time.

The U.K. variant, which scientists have labeled as B117, has emerged with an unusually large number of mutations.

Experts believe this variant can spread at least 50 percent faster, meaning it’s more transmissible, but there is no evidence it can cause more severe illness or increased risk of death.

Experts predict this variant could be dominant in the U.S. by March.

“Knowing that it will take months to complete vaccinations, and that there is a more infectious variant, means we need everyone to adhere to the rules that allow us to protect each other,” said Ferrer.

See more SCV and L.A. County info later in this report.

covid-19 roundup friday jan 22

California Friday Snapshot

Statewide, as of Thursday, January 21, California Department of Public Health officials confirmed a total of 3,062,068 COVID-19 cases (up 23,024), with 35,768 deaths from the disease (up 764) since the pandemic began.

There are 18.985 confirmed hospitalizations and 4,627 ICU hospitalizations in the state, a slight downward trend.

As of Thursday, local health departments have reported 81,913 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 313 deaths statewide.

There have been 39,725,839 COVID-19 tests conducted so far in California. This represents an increase of 213,083 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.

The 7-day positivity rate is 8.9% and the 14-day positivity rate is 10.5%, on a downward trend.

Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results may include cases from prior to yesterday.

As of January 21, providers have reported administering a total of 1,795,174 vaccine doses statewide.

As of January 21, a total of 3,989,850 vaccine doses, which includes the first and second dose, have been shipped to local health departments and health care systems that have facilities in multiple counties.

See more California information later in this report.

covid-19 roundup friday jan 22

Screencap from the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering COVID-19 dashboard, showing COVID cases in the United States as of Friday afternoon, January 22, 2021.

U.S. Deaths Pass 400,000 People, Nearly 25,000,000 Infections

Worldwide, 98,100,314 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 2,104,469 people have died of the virus as of 3:21 p.m. Friday Pacific Time, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

In the U.S., more than 24,796,936 Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The number of people in the U.S. who have died due to the virus has now surpassed 413,583.

With 4.25% of the world’s population (328.2 million) and more than 20% of the confirmed COVID-19 cases, the U.S. also continues to lead the world in deaths.

By comparison, Brazil (population 209.5 million) is No. 2 in deaths with 215,243, and No. 3 in cases with 8,753,920. India (population 1.353 billion) is No. 2 in cases, with 10,625,428 confirmed infections and 153,032 deaths as of Friday afternoon.

covid-19 roundup friday jan 22 2021

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Friday Update

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported three additional deaths from COVID-19 Friday, bringing the hospital’s total to 107, hospital spokesman Patrick Moody said.

As of Friday, 84 patients were hospitalized in dedicated COVID-19 units receiving ICU-level care, and a total of 937 COVID-19 patients have been treated and discharged so far, Moody said.

Henry Mayo releases complete statistics weekly, usually on Wednesdays, unless one or more new deaths occur.

Privacy laws prohibit Henry Mayo from releasing the community of residence for patients who die at the hospital; residence info is reported by the L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 dashboard, which generally lags 48 hours behind.

Due to staffing shortages and a large number of COVID-19 patient admissions, Henry Mayo recently issued a “code triage” alert and put out a call for nurses and doctors to fill open staff positions.

Santa Clarita Valley Friday Update

As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, the latest update of the L.A. County Public Health dashboard recorded 161 deaths among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began but did not yet include the additional eight deaths at Henry Mayo.

Of the 169 SCV residents who have died, 136 lived in Santa Clarita, nine in Castaic, six in Acton, four in Stevenson Ranch, three in unincorporated Canyon Country, one in Agua Dulce, one in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, one in Val Verde, and four***** in communities not yet named.

Of the 22,557 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:

* City of Santa Clarita: 16,359

* Castaic: 3,321 (incl. Pitchess Detention Center & North County Correctional Facility*)

* Stevenson Ranch: 887

* Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 660

* Acton: 373

* Val Verde: 252

* Agua Dulce: 195

* Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 148

* Saugus (unincorporated portion): 111

* Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 59

* Elizabeth Lake: 67

* Bouquet Canyon: 38

* Lake Hughes: 35

* Saugus/Canyon Country: 26

* Sand Canyon: 13

* San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 12

*Note: The county is unable to break out separate numbers for Castaic and PDC/NCCF because the county uses geotagging software that cannot be changed at this time, according to officials. Click here for the LASD COVID-19 dashboard.

covid-19 roundup friday jan 22

Reminder to all L.A. County Residents about the Vaccine

Los Angeles County is reminding residents that the main way to schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments is by logging on to VaccinateLACounty.com to check appointment availability.

Los Angeles County and its partners are operating a COVID-19 vaccination call center for residents who do not have computer access or have a disability that requires phone assistance. Residents without computer access can call 833-540-0473 between 8:00 am and 8:30 pm 7 days a week for assistance with appointments.

Every appointment is booked through the portal on VaccinateLACounty.com and calls to the hotline do not offer access to a separate pool of appointments.

The vaccination call center is experiencing a surge of thousands of callers seeking to schedule vaccination appointments, which is affecting our ability to serve residents who do not have access to a computer.

While we are increasing staffing at the call center, we strongly urge residents who have computer access to go to VaccinateLACounty.com. Because of the limited supply of vaccine, only a very limited number of appointments are currently available, for frontline health care workers and county residents aged 65 years and older.

L.A. County Vaccination Update

L.A. County Public Health has built, through a very successful public-private partnership, a robust system that is capable of vaccinating a large number of county residents in a safe, fair, and equitable manner.

This includes the five large-scale vaccination sites, the city’s large-capacity site at Dodger Stadium, as well as community vaccination sites, pharmacies, federally qualified health clinics, medical providers and hospitals. However, given the very limited supply of doses coming into our county, the biggest challenge the county faces is not one of process or capacity, but of supply.

As of Thursday, L.A. County had administered more than 441,000 doses of vaccine, including more than 352,000 first doses and more than 88,000 second doses.

We have 280 providers able to give vaccinations, which can be greatly expanded as vaccine supply increases. However, the County has only received enough vaccination supply to inoculate 1 in 4 people who are currently eligible.

Vaccines: Where and When

Like Dodger Stadium, L.A. County’s five new vaccination supersites were chosen for their regional accessibility and their ability to handle large capacities of people:

* Six Flags Magic Mountain, 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia 91355

* California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge 91330

* Pomona Fairplex, 1101 W McKinley Ave, Pomona 91768

* The Forum, 3900 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood 90305

* L.A. County Office of Education, 12830 Columbia Way, Downey 90242

The registration system for these vaccination centers for healthcare workers opened January 13, and for residents 65 and older on January 19. The county has set up a healthcare worker signup website, and seniors can visit VaccinateLACounty.com to schedule an appointment for vaccination once more appointments become available.

Since only a very limited number of vaccination appointments are currently available, residents in the 65-and-older age group may also receive communication from their health care provider with information about COVID-19 vaccinations and how to receive one through their provider.

For those without access to a computer or the internet, a county call center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. to help schedule appointments at 833-540-0473. Residents are encouraged to use the website whenever possible to sign up for an appointment to avoid long wait times on the phone.

For up-to-date L.A. County vaccination information, visit VaccinateLACounty.com.

covid-19 roundup friday january 22

L.A. County Demographics — Deaths by Race & Ethnicity

Of the total number of people who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 13,954 people; 52% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 24% among White residents, 13% among Asian residents, 8% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 2% among residents identifying with other races.

Upon further investigation, 496 cases and three deaths reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.

L.A. County Demographics — Deaths by Age Group

Of the 235 deaths reported today (not including Long Beach), 82 people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, 85 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 52 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, 15 people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 29 years old.

Of the deaths reported today, 195 deaths were people with underlying health conditions, including 64 people who were over the age of 80 years old, 73 people who were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 46 people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, 11 people between the ages of 30 and 49 years old and one person between the ages of 19 and 29 years old.

Fifteen deaths were reported today by the city of Long Beach and six deaths were reported by the city of Pasadena.

L.A. County Demographics — Cases by Age Group (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena)

* 0 to 4: 19584

* 5 to 11: 47585

* 12 to 17: 59272

* 18 to 29: 239147

* 30 to 49: 334486

* 50 to 64: 190953

* 65 to 79: 75157

* over 80: 27297

* Under Investigation 6279

Targeted Stay at Home Orders Issued by the State

The targeted Stay at Home Orders issued by the California Department of Public Health and adopted by the L.A. County Health Officer have been extended and remain in effect.

These orders will remain in effect as long as hospital ICU capacity remains below the 15% threshold established by the state. These orders prohibit gathering with non-household members, require everyone to stay at home as much as possible, reduce occupancy limits at businesses, and require masking and distancing whenever around others.

The Southern California region’s ICU capacity remains 0% as of Friday.

Outdoor exercise is encouraged as long as you remain distanced and wear a face covering when around others.

The Health Officer Orders also require that all non-essential business and activities cease between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. A complete list of the current safety modifications can be found online. These orders are in place for your safety and the safety of others – to reduce the potential for virus transmission.

L.A. County Public Health’s Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

covid-19 roundup friday jan 22

California Regional Stay Home Order
Due to high rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations impacting the health care system, California is under a Limited Stay at Home Order. The order applies to all counties that are currently under the Regional Stay at Home Order and those in Tier One (Purple) of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

The Limited Stay at Home Order will expire after the Regional Stay Home Order has been terminated in all regions of the state.

Regions must remain under the Regional Stay at Home Order for at least three weeks and will be eligible to exit the order and return to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy only if ICU capacity projections for the following month are above or equal to 15%.

ICU capacity projections for regions that are eligible to exit the order are calculated daily based on four factors: current estimated regional ICU capacity available, the measure of current community transmission, current regional case rates, and the proportion of ICU cases being admitted.

Projected ICU capacity remains below 15% in the Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions, which remain under the Regional Stay at Home Order. The order will be lifted for a region once its four-week ICU projection shows a capacity of greater than or equal to 15%.

Decreasing community transmission and increasing the health system capacity can help a region’s projected ICU capacity so they can exit the order.

covid-19 roundup friday jan 22

The state continues to support hospital systems and congregate care facilities across the state as ICU capacity continues to drop. The state is providing staff assistance, personal protective gear, durable medical equipment and supplies, and infection prevention technical assistance.

On Sunday, December 13, CDPH implemented a temporary waiver of nurse-to-patient ratios for intensive care units, step-down units, emergency medical services and medical and surgical units. In addition, more than 300 additional medical staff has been deployed across the state, with more expected before the end of the month.

Read the full Regional Stay Home Order and Supplement to the Order, and Frequently Asked Questions.

covid-19 roundup monday jan 18

Hospital Surge Order Jan. 15 Update

CDPH updated the Hospital Surge Public Health Order to clarify when hospitals must make notifications to state and local authorities on January 15.

The update included technical updates and updates on when specific terms of the order take effect. The updated order continues to require some non-essential and non-life-threatening surgeries to be delayed in counties with 10% or less of ICU capacity under the Regional Stay at Home Order where the regional ICU capacity is at 0%.

Examples of procedures that may be delayed include carpal tunnel release and non-urgent spine surgeries. Surgeries for patients who have serious and urgent medical conditions will continue. Examples of procedures that will continue include serious cancer removal and necessary heart surgeries.

The order requires hospitals statewide to accept patient transfers from facilities that have implemented contingency or crisis care guidelines as long as those transfers can be done capably and safely.

Counties currently impacted by the Hospital Surge Order:

San Joaquin Valley: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare.

Southern California: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.

Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines
On Monday, December 28, the California Department of Public Health released an All Facilities Letter (AFL) on implementing the Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines issued in June. With the current surge in the pandemic, many hospitals are stretched to capacity.

The guidelines support facilities that are adapting their operations and space, including staff and other resources, to handle the surge as best as possible.

In addition to this support, it’s critical that all facilities are prepared for crisis care, during which times medical professionals may have to make hard choices about allocating treatments.

The state does not determine when a hospital implements crisis care standards: that’s determined by the on-the-ground conditions, hospital capacity, and available resources. The state’s role is to ensure all hospitals have done appropriate planning to make difficult decisions and to help hospitals remain in crisis care mode for as brief a period as possible.

For more information, see the December 28 AFL and the Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines (PDF) issued in June.

covid-19 roundup friday january 22

California Blueprint for a Safer Economy

Governor Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy imposes risk-based criteria on tightening and loosening COVID-19 allowable activities and expands the length of time between changes to assess how any movement affects the trajectory of the disease.

Californians can go to covid19.ca.gov to find out where their county falls and what activities are allowable in each county.

California Testing
More than 85 community testing sites offer free, confidential testing: Find a COVID-19 Testing Site.

The testing turnaround dashboard reports how long California patients are waiting for COVID-19 test results. California has worked to reduce testing turnaround times in recent weeks to help curb the spread of the virus.

During the week of January 3 to January 9, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.4 days. During this same time period, 62% of patients received test results in one day and 90% received them within two days. The testing turnaround time dashboard (PDF) is updated weekly.

All four tiers in the Testing Prioritization Guidance originally dated July 14, 2020, have equal priority for testing.

covid-19 roundup friday january 22

‘Safe Schools for All’ Plan
On Wednesday, December 30, Governor Newsom released his California’s “Safe Schools for All” plan, California’s framework to support schools to continue operating safely in person and to expand the number of schools safely resuming in-person instruction.

Vaccinate All 58
The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being administered to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. The state is working closely with community partners and stakeholders to help ensure the vaccine is distributed and administered equitably across California.

For more information, visit the CDPH COVID-19 Vaccine webpage and the Vaccinate All 58 webpage.

California Demographics: Health Equity Dashboard

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted existing inequities in health that are the result of structural racism and poverty, and the disproportionate prevalence of underlying conditions such as asthma and heart disease among Latinos and African Americans.

As part of its commitment to reduce health inequities and ensure the best outcomes for all Californians, the state has launched a Health Equity Dashboard on www.covid19.ca.gov/equity/ that tracks California’s health equity measure and data by race and ethnicity, age group, and sexual orientation/gender identity.

coronavirus covid-19 roundup friday january 22

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

Each week, the California Department of Public Health updates the number of cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) reported in the state.

As of January 18, there have been 176 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) have been reported statewide. To protect patient confidentiality in counties with fewer than 11 cases, we are not providing total counts at this time.

MIS-C is a rare inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems. MIS-C can require hospitalization and be life-threatening. Parents should be aware of the signs and symptoms of MIS-C including fever that does not go away, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling tired. Contact your child’s doctor immediately if your child has these symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment of patients are critical to preventing long-term complications.

covid-19 roundup friday january 22

Protect Yourself and Your Family

California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet – faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic and this summer. If COVID-19 continues to spread at this rate, it could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes.

Protect yourself, family, friends, and community by following these prevention measures:

* Staying home except for essential needs/activities following local and state public health guidelines when patronizing approved businesses. To the extent that sectors are re-opened, Californians may leave their homes to work at, patronize, or otherwise engage with those businesses, establishments or activities.

* Staying close to home, avoiding non-essential travel, and practicing self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival if you leave the state.

* Keeping interactions to people who live in your household.

* Wearing a cloth face mask when out in public

* Washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds

* Avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

* Covering a cough or sneeze with your sleeve or disposable tissue. Wash your hands afterward

* Avoiding close contact with people who are sick

* Staying away from work, school, or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough

* Adding your phone to the fight by signing up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.

* Answering the call if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or local health department tries to connect.

* Following guidance from public health officials

What to Do if You Think You’re Sick

Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath), call your health care provider before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.

More than 85 community testing sites also offer free, confidential testing: Find a COVID-19 Testing Site.

It’s important if someone thinks they could be positive for COVID-19 and are awaiting testing results to stay at home and act as if they are positive. This means self-isolating for 10 days and 72 hours after symptoms and fever subside.

If a person tests positive for COVID-19, they should plan on receiving a call from a public health specialist to discuss how to protect themselves and others, find out where they may have been, and who they were in close contact with while infectious.

covid-19 roundup friday january 22

California COVID-19 Data and Tools

A wide range of data and analysis guides California’s response to COVID-19. The state is making the data and its analytical tools available to researchers, scientists and the public at covid19.ca.gov.

* The Statewide COVID-19 Dashboard

* The California COVID-19 Assessment Tool (CalCAT)

* State Cases and Deaths Associated with COVID-19 by Age Group

* COVID-19 Race & Ethnicity Data

* COVID-19 Hospital Data and Case Statistics

* View additional datasets at the California Open Data Portal (including Testing Data, PPE Logistics Data, Hospital Data, Homeless Impact and more)

Consolidated guidance is available on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance webpage.

* * * * *

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19):

* Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

* California Department of Public Health

* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

* Spanish

* World Health Organization

* Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard

L.A. County residents can also call 2-1-1.

* * * * *

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