The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed 258 new deaths and 15,051 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with cases likely to reach over 1 million this weekend. In addition, the Santa Clarita Valley has reached 21,189 total cases.
To date, Public Health identified 989,928 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 13,489 deaths.
“To all people grieving the loss of a loved one to COVID-19, we are deeply sorry for your loss and wish you peace,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health.
There are 7,715 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 22% of these people are in the ICU.
For most of this week, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 each day remained slightly under 8,000 patients.
While the number of patients hospitalized daily with COVID-19 decreased slightly, healthcare workers and ICU capacity remains strained.
According to the State, the Southern California Region continues to have 0% available ICU capacity.
Testing results are available for more than 5,154,000 individuals with 18% of people testing positive.
The most important action for everyone to take to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives is to stay home and not mingle with others not in your household.
While the vaccination process is underway, it is imperative that everyone continues to follow the straight-forward measures needed to prevent spread of the virus–wearing a face covering, avoiding gatherings, keeping your distance, and washing your hands frequently.
Individuals with underlying health conditions and those that are older should remain in their home and not be around others unless seeking essential medical care.
“As vaccine supply allows, we want to expand vaccinations and move through the tiers as quickly as possible,” said Ferrer. “We are very hopeful that our allocation of doses increases enough for us to begin vaccinating seniors before the end of the month.”
“As vaccine supply improves, more residents will become eligible for vaccinations,” she said. “It will take a number of months to reach the level of vaccination needed in the population to curb the ongoing transmission of the virus.”
See more SCV and L.A. County info later in this report.
California Friday Snapshot
Statewide, as of Thursday, January 14, the California Department of Public Health confirmed a total of 2,859,624 COVID-19 cases (up 42,655 ), with 32,291 deaths from the disease (up 637) since the pandemic began.
There are 20,998 confirmed hospitalizations and 4,745 ICU hospitalizations in the state.
As of January 14, local health departments have reported 77,634 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 296 deaths statewide.
There have been 37,449,536 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 319,170 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.
The 7-day positivity rate is 12.0% and the 14-day positivity rate is 12.9%.
Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results may include cases from prior to yesterday.
As of January 14, providers have reported administering a total of 1,068,874 vaccine doses statewide. Numbers do not represent true day-to-day change as reporting may be delayed.
As of January 14, a total of 3,099,425 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.
Distribution Opening to Seniors 65 and Older
In order to increase the pace of COVID-19 vaccine distribution to those at greatest risk, the state as of January 13 is prioritizing individuals 65 and older to receive the vaccine as demand subsides among health care workers.
This effort will help to reduce hospitalizations and save lives.
“There is no higher priority than efficiently and equitably distributing these vaccines as quickly as possible to those who face the gravest consequences,” Governor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. “Individuals 65 and older are now the next group eligible to start receiving vaccines. To those not yet eligible for vaccines, your turn is coming. We are doing everything we can to bring more vaccine into the state.”
See more California information later in this report.
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 15, 2021.
Global Deaths Surpass 2 Million People; U.S Deaths Over 390,000
Worldwide, 93,787,372 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 2,006,987 people have died of the virus as of 6:22 p.m. Friday Pacific Time, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
In the U.S., more than 22,998,320 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 391,922.
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 208,246, and No. 3 in cases with 8,393,492. India (population 1.353 billion) is No. 2 in cases, with 10,527,683 confirmed infections and 151,918 deaths as of Friday afternoon.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Friday Update
Note: There was no available data released Friday. Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital releases complete statistics weekly, usually on Wednesdays, unless one or more new deaths occur.
Henry Mayo reported on 2 more fatalities on Wednesday bringing the hospital’s COVID-19 death toll to 96 patients since the pandemic began, according to spokesman Patrick Moody.
In the month of November, 8 COVID-19 patients died at Henry Mayo. In December, four times that many people — 34 — died at the hospital, Moody said, an average of more than one death per day.
In 2021, as of January 13, the hospital has already reported 24 patient deaths, now averaging more than two per day.
Just since Friday, 13 patients have died at Henry Mayo due to COVID-19, he confirmed.
As of Wednesday, 98 patients were hospitalized in dedicated COVID-19 units receiving ICU-level care (six fewer than Monday), and a total of 840 COVID-19 patients have been treated and discharged so far, Moody said.
Some testing data was not available Wednesday, for the second day, he said. The most recent figures from Monday showed that of the 16,230 people tested for COVID-19 at Henry Mayo to date, 2,921 tested positive, 19,184 were negative, and 3 were pending.
Discrepancies in the testing numbers are due to some patients being tested multiple times, Moody said.
Henry Mayo releases complete statistics weekly, usually on Wednesdays, unless one or more new deaths occur.
Due to staffing shortages and a large number of COVID-19 patient admissions, Henry Mayo on Monday, December 30 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 154 deaths among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began.
Of the 154 SCV residents who have died, 131 lived in Santa Clarita, 8 in Castaic, 5 in Acton, 4 in Stevenson Ranch, 3 in unincorporated Canyon Country, 1 in Agua Dulce, 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, and 1 in Val Verde.
Of the 21,189 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
* City of Santa Clarita: 15,282
* Castaic: 3,237 (incl. Pitchess Detention Center & North County Correctional Facility*)
* Stevenson Ranch: 813
* Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 625
* Acton: 350
* Val Verde: 234
* Agua Dulce: 178
* Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 138
* Saugus (unincorporated portion): 103
* Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 57
* Elizabeth Lake: 55
* Lake Hughes: 34
* Bouquet Canyon: 34
* Saugus/Canyon Country: 26
* San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 12
* Sand Canyon: 11
*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.
L.A. County Vaccine Update
Public Health will host a COVID-19 Vaccine Virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, January 19, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Join the town hall to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, how it was developed, where it will be distributed in our communities, and when it will be made available to the general public.
The town hall will be streamed live on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube @lapublichealth. For more information and to submit a question, visit: http://tinyurl.com/askcovidtownhall.
Public Health reports as of Thursday, more than 279,000 doses of vaccine including more than 219,000 first doses and more than 60,000 second doses have been administered to healthcare workers and residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities in Phase 1A.
The County is in the process of offering vaccinations to all remaining healthcare workers in Phase 1A. While many frontline healthcare workers have already received their first dose, we estimate an additional 450,000 healthcare workers need to be vaccinated.
There are many healthcare partners vaccinating healthcare workers, including select pharmacies and health clinics.
To bolster vaccination efforts for remaining healthcare workers who are eligible for a vaccine in Phase 1A, next week, Public Health is opening five new large-capacity vaccination sites across the county for frontline healthcare workers in Phase 1A.
Healthcare workers must register for an appointment in advance and must bring identification with them that clearly shows where they work and that they qualify when showing up for their vaccine.
Healthcare workers should visit the signup website to register.
The registration system for these five large-capacity vaccination centers for healthcare workers opened Wednesday, January 13. Visit the healthcare worker signup website.
With support from our many partners and the opening of the large-capacity vaccination sites, Public Health anticipates the remaining healthcare workers will be vaccinated with their first dose in the next two weeks.
Beginning next week, Public Health will be working with healthcare providers and pharmacies to get ready to vaccinate people 65 and older once our vaccine allocation increases.
This way we can continue with our commitment to vaccinate healthcare workers while getting ready for Phase 1B.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccination plans in L.A. County and to sign up for a vaccination newsletter, visit www.VaccinateLACounty.com
Public Health Addresses Report of Wasted Vaccines
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health does not condone wasting of any precious vaccine doses and has not and is not directing providers to throw away unused doses.
In fact, we have moved swiftly to set up vaccine clinics on quick turnaround whenever we have learned of potential vaccine expirations.
Although the priority now is to vaccinate frontline healthcare workers and residents in long-term health facilities, Los Angeles County has allowed for exceptions in the vaccination plan to be made in order to prevent any vaccine wastage, as is detailed on page 8 of the department’s guidance.
The Department of Public Health will investigate any reports of vaccine waste or misuse. Anyone with information about waste or misuse should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Los Angeles County is committed to vaccinating every resident who wants to be protected from this deadly virus and is working with hundreds of partners to ramp up operations for mass vaccination distribution to eligible groups of residents.
As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, certain groups are again bearing a greater burden of serious illness than others.
Latino/Latinx residents are now experiencing a 7-day cumulative rate that has more than doubled, from 773 cases per 100,000 people on December 1, to 1,763 cases per 100,000 people on January 6. This is more than two times that of African American/Black residents, the group with the second-highest case rate of about 790 cases per 100,000 individuals. White residents experienced 650 cases per 100,000 people and Asian residents are close behind with 555 cases per100,000 individuals.
The county is witnessing the tragedy from the surge in cases, and Latino/Latinx residents are faring the worst. In early-November, the death rate among Latino/Latinx residents increased more than 800%, from 3.5 deaths per 100,000 residents a day to 28 deaths per 100,000 residents a day.
Over this same period, the death rate among African American/Black residents increased from less than 1 death per 100,000 people a day to more than 15 deaths per 100,000 people. Deaths also have increased dramatically among Asian residents, from 0.5 deaths per 100,000 people in early November to 12 deaths per 100,000 people, and among white residents, there are now 10 deaths per 100,000 people.
Officials continue to see a high mortality rate among people living in areas with the highest levels of poverty, with three times the death rate compared to people living in the lowest levels of poverty.
L.A. County remains deeply committed to addressing the root causes of this disproportionate impact on health. This means standing up against racism, increasing access to medical care, and ensuring that every individual, family, and community has the resources needed to survive this pandemic. Individuals and families living in the hardest-hit communities remain a priority for the county as it moves toward a mass vaccination program.
L.A. County Demographics — Deaths by Age Group
Of the 258 new deaths reported today, 95 people who passed away were over the age of 80, 79 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, 60 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 and 13 people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 29.
Seven deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach and three deaths were reported by the City of Pasadena.
L.A. County Demographics — Cases by Age Group (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena)
Young people are continuing to drive the surge of the virus’s community spread with disastrous results for our elderly.
* 0 to 4: 18279
* 5 to 11: 44359
* 12 to 17: 55315
* 18 to 29: 225562
* 30 to 49: 315126
* 50 to 64: 178702
* 65 to 79: 69871
* over 80: 25517
* Under Investigation 5975
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.
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.
Effective January 12, the Greater Sacramento region met the criteria to exit the Regional Stay Home Order. Counties in this region will immediately go back to their appropriate tiers based on cases and test positivity rate.
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.
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.
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.
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 December 27 to January 2, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.4 days. During this same time period, 60% of patients received test results in one day and 87% 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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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, sexual orientation and gender identity.
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 11, 167 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.
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.
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.
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.
Acclaimed guitarist, songwriter, record producer, and Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer Mike Campbell, formerly a member of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, will be the first to host radio station 88.5-FM's new "Artist in Residence" series Saturday, February 27, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
In the wake of the Canadian Transport Ministry’s Interim Order extending the closure of Canadian ports and waters to passenger vessels, Santa Clarita-based Princess Cruises has found it necessary to cancel three voyages:
Programs at the Castaic Lake Recreation Area and pool are set to return after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a motion to restore the budget for the county's Department of Parks and Recreation.
The city of Santa Clarita has awarded a contract to the Los Angeles Kings and American Sports Entertainment Company (ASEC) for the operation of the city-owned ice rink, located at 27745 Smyth Drive in Valencia.
The California Air Resources Board or CARB is not doing enough to measure and analyze whether its transportation programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are effective, the state auditor said in a report issued Tuesday.
California Governor Gavin Newsom Tuesday signed into law a comprehensive six-bill relief package of immediate actions to speed needed relief to individuals, families, and businesses suffering the most significant economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District represents the Santa Clarita Valley, will introduce a motion Tuesday asking the Board of Supervisors to send a five-signature letter in support of Assembly Bill 420, a bipartisan bill by Assembly members Sharon Quirk-Silva and Suzette Martinez Valladares.
Love is in the air and so is the smell of delicious food for this romance-themed episode of The MAIN’s virtual series, “Food Sessions,” as it returns with another mouthwatering episode this Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7:00 p.m.
Castaic Union School District (CUSD) was excited to welcome their Transitional Kindergarten-2nd grade students back to in-person instruction on Monday at Castaic Elementary, Live Oak Elementary, and Northlake Hills Elementary schools.
Students in grades seven through 12 can’t yet return to school in Los Angeles County, but William S. Hart Union High School District board members want county and state officials to prioritize the vaccination of educators to prepare for reopening.