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January 28
1850 - Death Valley '49er William Robinson dies in Soledad Canyon from drinking too much cool water [story]
Leaving Death Valley


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 18,313 new cases and 318 new deaths of COVID-19 countywide, surpassing the previous all-time high of one-day total COVID-19 deaths in the County. In addition, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported its 83rd death since the pandemic began.

To date, Public Health identified 889,405 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 11,863 deaths.

To date, the Santa Clarita Valley has tallied 19,205 COVID-19 cases – 337 more cases since Thursday – and 136 deaths.

Public Health reported over 200 daily deaths this week. For comparison, the County on average has approximately 170 deaths each day from all other causes combined, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, car crashes, suicides, and homicides.

“We send our sincere condolences to everyone who is mourning the loss of a loved one, friend or co-worker from COVID-19. You remain in our hearts,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Today’s number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths are tragic and alarming, and further confirm the widespread transmission of COVID-19.”

There are 8,074 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 20% of these people are in the ICU. The 3-day average for daily hospitalizations is 8,065; the highest the County has ever experienced. For comparison, on November 1, the three-day average number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was 791 and on January 4, the three-day average increased to 7,873.

covid-19 roundup friday jan 8 2021

“The very high numbers reported today didn’t happen by accident,” Ferrer said. “Most of our new cases are a direct result of the actions taken by people who were not following the necessary precautions over the winter holiday: not limiting contact with those outside their households and not refraining from traveling.”

Testing results are available for more than 4,920,000 individuals with 17% of people testing positive. Today’s daily test positivity rate is 19.5%.

“We anticipate that the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths will remain high throughout this month because of what occurred over the holidays,” she said. “If we wish to turn this around and save lives, everyone must adhere to the safety measures put in place, residents and businesses alike.”

With the largest one-day total of COVID-19 deaths, Public Health reminds everyone to talk to a healthcare provider and get a test for COVID-19 if you have symptoms. If you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, isolate immediately from your family and others.

COVID-19 symptoms include:

– Fever or chills

– Cough

– Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing

– Fatigue

– Runny or stuffy nose

– Muscle or body aches

– Headache

– Sore throat

– Nausea or vomiting

– Diarrhea

– New loss of taste or smell

If you are 65 years old and older or have a health problem such as a chronic disease or a weak immune system, it is particularly important to let your doctor know that you have these new symptoms. If you need help finding a doctor, call the Los Angeles County Information line 2-1-1, which is available 24/7.

You should seek immediate emergency medical attention if you, or a person you know, exhibits the following symptoms:

– Trouble breathing

– Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

– New confusion

– Inability to wake or stay awake

– Bluish lips or face

– If you, or a person you know develop these symptoms, go to an emergency room or call 911.

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

Statement Regarding Pre-Planning Efforts for Surge Storage Capacity

Below is a statement from the County Medical Examiner-Coroner Dr. Jonathan Lucas regarding pre-planning efforts in anticipation of surge storage requirements during COVID-19.

“In preparation for the pandemic, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner (DMEC) installed refrigerated storage units in the beginning of April 2020. The units have remained largely unused until recently.

DMEC has sufficient storage for current needs; however, the department is expanding capacity to meet potential future demands.

Although DMEC has already secured most of the additional storage and is currently organizing the secondary location, we are very grateful to Cal OES for supplementing our resources with additional refrigerated trailers and providing rack systems. While there has been an increase in bodies, DMEC feels confident in managing the effects of the pandemic with the aid of our partners at Cal OES.”

covid-19 roundup california cases friday jan 8 2021

California Friday Snapshot

Statewide, as of Thursday, January 7, the California Department of Public Health confirmed a total of 2,568,641 COVID-19 cases (up 50,030), with 28,538 deaths from the disease (up 493) since the pandemic began.

There are 21,855 confirmed hospitalizations and 4,812 ICU hospitalizations in the state, continuing a sharp upward trend.

As of January 7, local health departments have reported 73,862 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 276 deaths statewide.

There have been 35,027,330 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 266,975 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.

The 7-day positivity rate is 14.0% and the 14-day positivity rate is 13.3%.

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

As of January 8, a total of 652,128 vaccine doses have been administered statewide. As of January 8, a total of 2,060,800 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.

Updated California Travel Advisory

The California Department of Public Health has issued an updated travel advisory. Except in connection with essential travel, Californians should avoid non-essential travel to any part of California more than 120 miles from one’s place of residence, or to other states or countries.

Avoiding travel reduces the risk of virus transmission, including by reducing the risk that new sources of infection and, potentially, new virus strains will be introduced to California.

Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Non-essential travelers from other states or countries are strongly discouraged from entering California and should adhere to the state’s self-quarantine procedures for 10 days.

See more California information later in this report.

covid-19 roundup us cases Friday jan 8 2021

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 8, 2021.

U.S. Infections Surge Past 21 Million People; Deaths Reach 360,000

Worldwide, 88,821,629 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 1,911,637 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 21,857,293 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 368,736.

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 201,460, and No. 3 in cases with 8,013,708. India (population 1.353 billion) is No. 2 in cases, with 10,413,417 confirmed infections and 150,570 deaths as of Friday afternoon.

covid-19 roundup wednesday january 6

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Friday Update

On Friday, Henry Mayo New Hall Hospital reported its 83rd death since the pandemic began, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody.

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

As of Friday, of the 16,054 people tested for COVID-19 at Henry Mayo to date, 2,826 tested positive, 18,986 were negative, 8 were pending, 104 patients were hospitalized in dedicated units receiving ICU-level care, and a total of 779 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, he 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.

covid-19 roundup wednesday january 6

Santa Clarita Valley Friday Update

As of 8 p.m. Wednesday, the latest update of the L.A. County Public Health dashboard reported 132 deaths among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began, but had not yet included the last 4 deaths reported by Henry Mayo.

Of the 136 SCV residents who have died, 114 lived in Santa Clarita, 6 in Castaic, 4 in Acton, 3 in unincorporated Canyon Country, 3 in Stevenson Ranch, 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, 1 in Val Verde, and 4 in communities not yet named.

Of the 18,514 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:

* City of Santa Clarita: 13,720

* Castaic: 3,097 (includes Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)

* Stevenson Ranch: 720

* Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 551

* Acton: 316

* Val Verde: 213

* Agua Dulce: 161

* Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 117

* Saugus (unincorporated portion): 99

* Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 57

* Elizabeth Lake: 45

* Saugus/Canyon Country: 28

* Bouquet Canyon: 30

* Lake Hughes: 28

* Sand Canyon: 10

* San Francisquito/Bouquet 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.

covid-19 roundup wednesday jan 6

L.A. County Vaccine Update

As the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations is steadily increasing, the County is working to ensure existing doses are administered as quickly as possible.

As of January 6, a total of 151,772 COVID-19 vaccinations have been given across the county by our Department and other partners. This includes 6,151 doses administered as second doses.

The California Department of Public Health on Thursday announced that vaccinations can now expand to all three tiers within Phase 1A.

Starting Monday, the registration system will include all frontline healthcare workers who qualify within Phase 1A. The aim is to have all persons prioritized in Phase 1A vaccinated by the end of January.

covid-19 roundup wednesday jan 6

In addition, vaccinations are proceeding rapidly with staff and residents at skilled nursing facilities. The federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens will begin vaccinating at other long-term care facilities starting next week.

Public Health is expanding vaccination sites. This week Public Health opened 19 vaccination sites across the county for persons within Phase 1A to receive the vaccination.

Next week, Public Health plans to open 75 additional sites for these priority groups, including four federally qualified health centers, a community hospital, and 70 retail pharmacies throughout the county to help administer vaccinations to healthcare workers within Phase 1A.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccination plans in LA County and to sign up for a vaccination newsletter, visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com

L.A. County Demographics — 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: 16373

* 5 to 11: 39297

* 12 to 17: 48769

* 18 to 29: 203698

* 30 to 49: 284766

* 50 to 64: 160326

*65 to 79: 62387

* over 80: 23055

* Under Investigation 5546

covid-19 roundup california wednesday january 6

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 08

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.

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. 25.

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

Current available ICU capacity by region as of Friday:

* Bay Area: 3.0%

* Greater Sacramento Region: 6.4%

* Northern California: 27.5%

* San Joaquin Valley: 0.0%

* Southern California: 0.0%

The earliest dates that regions may be eligible to exit are:

* San Joaquin: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.

* Southern California: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.

* Greater Sacramento: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.

* Bay Area: Will remain under the order until January 8 at the earliest with the potential to extend depending on four-week ICU capacity projections.

covid-19 roundup  wednesday january 6

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 wednesday january 6

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 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.

covid-19 roundup  wednesday january 6

‘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.

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

covid-19 roundup wednesday january 6

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, sexual orientation and gender identity.

coronavirus covid-19 roundup wednesday january 6

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 4, 161 cases of MIS-C have been reported statewide, an increase of 2 over the previous week. 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 wednesday january 6

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 wednesday january 6

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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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021
SCV Under Flash Flood Watch, Lake Hughes to Prepare for Possible Evacuations
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