The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday confirmed 96 new deaths and 16,504 new cases of COVID-19 countywide and once again confirmed the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in a day with 5,100 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and four additional MIS-C cases in children. In addition, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 57th death.
Since Monday, L.A. County has reported more than 71,000 new COVID-19 cases; an acceleration of cases never seen before in our community.
As case numbers continue to surge, the total number of individuals who will become seriously ill or pass away will also increase.
To date, Public Health identified 596,721 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 8,757 deaths.
The Santa Clarita Valley has now tallied 13,344 confirmed COVID-19 cases among residents – 254 more new cases since Thursday – and 100 deaths, according to the latest Public Health data, which does not yet list the latest fatalities reported by Henry Mayo.
To date, 57 COVID patients have died at the local hospital, and the SCV’s death toll now stands at 100 since the pandemic began.
Public Health is reporting four additional cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). This brings the total cases of MIS-C in L.A. County to 49 children including one child death.
All 49 children with MIS-C in L.A. County were hospitalized. More than 50% of the children were treated in the ICU. Of the children with MIS-C, 27% were under the age of 5 years old, 38% were between the ages of 5 and 11 years old, and 35% were between the ages of 12 and 20 years old. Latino/Latinx children account for 73% of the reported cases.
MIS-C is an inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 and symptoms include fever that does not go away and inflamed body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.
If you believe your child is displaying MIS-C symptoms, contact your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, dial 2-1-1 and L.A. County will help connect you to one.
“To the many families mourning a loved one who passed away from COVID-19, our deepest condolences. And to all the people sick and hospitalized with COVID-19, we wish you a full recovery,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “I, like so many others, feel hopeful as we approach the holidays because each day we see progress with COVID-19 vaccine availability and we know the end to this pandemic is in sight.
“However, to underestimate this virus or figure out ways to undermine safety measures is a mistake that our community can’t afford any longer,” said Ferrer. “Our healthcare workers and essential workers depend on all of us to protect them and slow the surge. Please do not host or attend get-togethers or parties.”
“If you are a business defying safety directives, we need you to start playing by the rules so we can keep our hospitals functional,” she said. “The actions we take today will impact whether we see more or less cases of COVID-19 two weeks from now, and beyond. Let’s keep everyone we can healthy and alive until it is their turn to receive the vaccine. Instead of debating and undermining, it is time to follow the guidance and directives, because this will save lives.”
California Friday Snapshot
Statewide, as of Thursday, December 17, the California Department of Public Health confirmed a total of 1,764,374 COVID-19 cases (up 41,012), with 22,160 deaths from the disease (up 300) since the pandemic began.
Today’s numbers are slightly higher due to the implementation of an auto-processing feature to track report the large volume of COVID-19 cases.
In collaboration with counties, on December 13, the state began automatically processing positive cases reported by laboratories and these cases are reflected in our public reporting.
Typically, local public health departments receive cases into an inbox and manually process those cases, however, with high transmission rates, this has become increasingly difficult.
The auto processing feature ensures that local public health officials can quickly determine when cases occurred, which gives us all a better sense of COVID-19’s trajectory.
There are 16,019 confirmed hospitalizations and 3,447 ICU hospitalizations in the state, continuing a very sharp upward trend.
The 7-day positivity rate is 12.8% and the 14-day positivity rate is 11.8%, also continuing a very sharp upward trend.
As of December 17, local health departments have reported 62,023 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 239 deaths statewide.
There have been 28,741,027 tests conducted in California, an increase of 284,669 over the prior 24-hour reporting period.
Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results include cases from prior to yesterday.
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, December 18, 2020.
Worldwide Deaths Exceed 1.6 Million People; U.S. Leads in New Cases, Deaths
Worldwide, 75,438,513 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 1,670,818 people have died of the virus as of 1:27 p.m. Friday Pacific Time, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
In the U.S., more than 17,375,760 Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19. New cases and hospitalizations continue at all-time record highs. The number of people in the U.S. who have died due to the virus has now surpassed 312,722.
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 184,827, and No. 3 in cases with 7,110,434. India (population 1.353 billion) is No. 2 in cases, with 9,979,447 confirmed cases and 144,789 deaths as of Friday afternoon.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Friday Update
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 57th death Friday from COVID-19, spokesman Patrick Moody said.
Henry Mayo releases complete statistics weekly, usually on Wednesdays, unless a new death occurs, Moody said.
As of Friday, of the 14,110 people tested for COVID-19 at Henry Mayo to date, 1,936 tested positive, 16,987 were negative, 24 were pending, 79 patients were hospitalized in a dedicated unit receiving ICU-level care, and a total of 538 COVID-19 patients have been treated and discharged so far, Moody said.
Discrepancies in the testing numbers at the hospital are due to some patients being tested multiple times.
As of 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 16, the latest update to the L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 data dashboard,
92 deaths had been reported among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began, one down from Thursday.
The data dashboard had not yet recorded the most recent deaths from Henry Mayo, including Friday’s two new deaths, which brings the SCV death toll to 100 people.
Of the 100 SCV residents who have died, 77 lived in Santa Clarita, 5 in Castaic, 3 in Acton, 3 in Stevenson Ranch, 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, 2 in unincorporated Canyon Country, 1 in Val Verde, according to the data dashboard, with the 8 additional people who died residing in communities not yet named.
Of the 13,344 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
City of Santa Clarita: 9,093
Castaic: 2,675 (includes Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)
Stevenson Ranch: 465
Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 384
Val Verde: 144
Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 86
Agua Dulce: 96
Saugus (unincorporated portion): 60
Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 51
Elizabeth Lake: 26
Saugus/Canyon Country: 21
Bouquet Canyon: 19
Lake Hughes: 18
Sand Canyon: 8
San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 4
*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.
Deaths Increase at Skilled Nursing Facilities
While not at the levels seen early on in the pandemic, L.A. County is experiencing increases in deaths from COVID-19 among residents at skilled nursing facilities. During the week of November 15, 30 residents passed away, and during the week of December 5, 49 residents passed away. For comparison in early May, weekly deaths for residents of skilled nursing facilities reached a high of 191.
More L.A. County Demographics: Age
Of the 96 new deaths reported today, 36 people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, 28 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 18 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and seven people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old.
Sixty-six people who died had underlying health conditions including 26 people over the age of 80 years old, 22 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 13 people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and five people between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Four deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach and three deaths were reported by the City of Pasadena.
Hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes are the most common underlying health conditions among people hospitalized with COVID-19. Many people have multiple underlying health conditions.
Cases by Age Group (Los Angeles County only — 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: 10846
* 5 to 11: 24924
* 12 to 17: 30687
* 18 to 29: 140318
* 30 to 49: 193414
* 50 to 64: 106619
* 65 to 79: 40948
* over 80: 15844
* Under Investigation 3775
More L.A. County Demographics: Race/Ethnicity
As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, the gaps between race and ethnicity groups that the county made progress closing in September continue to widen, particularly for Latino/Latinx residents compared to other groups, though all groups are experiencing increases.
Latino/Latinx residents are now seeing a 7-day cumulative rate of nearly 650 new cases per 100,000 people. This is more than two times that of African American/Black residents, the group with the second-highest case rate of about 270 new cases per 100,000 people, and almost three times the rate experienced by white residents (250 new cases per 100,000 people) and Asian residents (172 new cases per 100,000 people).
Latino/Latinx, African American/Black, and Asian residents are also experiencing an alarming increase in deaths. The death rate among Latino/Latinx residents has increased from 1.5 deaths per 100,000 people to 4.5 deaths per 100,000 people. The death rate for African American/Black residents has increased from less than 1 death per 100,000 people to 3 deaths per 100,000 people. The death rate among Asian residents has increased from 0.5 deaths per 100,000 people to 3 deaths per 100,000 people.
Public Health continues to see a high mortality rate among people living in areas with the highest levels of poverty, with four times the death rate compared to people living in the lowest levels of poverty.
Throughout the pandemic, the life and death consequences of racism and poverty have played out in devastating ways and they continue to do so. The widening gaps are a stark reminder that many of our essential workers are Black and brown, and many are not able to telework or stay home; many work at jobs with low wages, and live in under-resourced neighborhoods.
During the surge, all our essential workers are taking on increased risks at their jobs because community transmission rates are high. The only way to reduce their risk is for every business to fully implement the safety modifications required by the Health Officer Order; this includes providing appropriate PPE and infection control. Violations at workplaces can be reported anonymously at 888-700-9995.
Every resident needs to protect our essential workers by playing by rules. This means always wear a face covering and keep distance from others, no crowding, frequent handwashing, and limiting all non-essential activities.
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
The Regional Stay Home Order announced December 3 and a supplemental order signed December 6 went into effect at 11:59 p.m. the day after a region had less than 15 percent ICU availability.
The supplemental order clarifies retail operations and goes into effect immediately. They prohibit private gatherings of any size, close sector operations except for critical infrastructure and retail, and require 100% masking and physical distancing in all others.
Once triggered, these orders will remain in effect for at least 3 weeks. After that period, they will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15 percent. This will be assessed on a weekly basis after the initial three-week period.
Based on ICU data, four regions, San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, Greater Sacramento and the Bay Area are under the Regional Stay at Home Order as of Friday, Dec. 18.
San Joaquin Valley and Southern California will be eligible to exit from the order and return to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy on December 28 if ICU capacity projections for the following month are above or equal to 15%. Greater Sacramento may exit on January 1 and the Bay Area on January 8 if both achieve the same capacity projections.
The state continues to support hospital systems and congregate care facilities across the state during 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 Gavin 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 November 29 to December 5, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.4 days. During this same time period, 58 percent of patients received test results in 1 day and 87 percent received them within 2 days. The testing turnaround time dashboard (PDF) is updated weekly.
All four tiers in the Testing Prioritization Guidance originally dated July 14, 2020, will have equal priority for testing.
Overall, for adults 18 and older, Latinos, African Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are dying at disproportionately higher levels.
The proportion of COVID-19 deaths in African Americans is more than one-and-a-half times their population representation across all adult age categories. For Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, overall numbers are low, but almost double between the proportion of COVID-19 deaths and their population representation.
More males are dying from COVID-19 than females, in line with national trends.
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 December 14, 152 cases of 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 is 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.
* Following the limited Stay at Home Order that requires all non-essential work and activities to stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in counties in the purple tier. The order took effect at 10 p.m. Saturday, November 21, and will remain in effect until 5 a.m. December 21.
* Staying close to home, avoiding non-essential travel, and practicing self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival if you leave the state.
* Keeping gatherings small, short, and outdoors and limiting them to those who live in your household.
* 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
* 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.
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.
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 it's 107th death.
The COVID-19 crisis has trashed recycling efforts and instead generated an increase in plastic waste, according to a recent study, but Los Angeles County restaurants could soon be required to make adjustments related to disposable food ware in an effort to reduce waste.
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 it's 107th death.
The Los Angeles County Library, in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is set to host a series of free virtual workshops running every other week on Fridays from January through June.
The Los Angeles County Development Authority will launch the Small Business Stabilization Loan Program on Jan. 28 and will begin accepting applications to help small businesses prevent further job loss and business closures.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 262 new deaths, including an additional death at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, and 8,512 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 countywide, with 22,360 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
SACRAMENTO – California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan issued the following statement Thursday advising providers that they can immediately resume the administration of lot 41L20A of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which was temporarily paused on Sunday due to possible allergic reactions.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, is supporting the effort by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to address concerns of communities throughout Los Angeles County, which continue to experience ongoing Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) initiated by Southern California Edison (Edison).
The William S. Hart Union High School is looking for two new members to serve on the Measure SA Citizens’ Oversight Committee. These members will serve two-year terms with a maximum of three consecutive terms.