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February 4
1822 - Surveyor Edward F. Beale born in Washington, D.C.; cut through Newhall Pass 40 years later, assembled 270,000-acre Tejon Ranch [story]
Edward Beale


Los Angeles County Department of Public Health logoThe Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Friday one additional death and 55 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, with 24 additional deaths and 2,101 new cases countywide.

This new data brings Los Angeles County death totals to 34,807, county case totals to 3,646,951 and Santa Clarita Valley case totals to 96,948 since March of 2020. SCV deaths from COVID-19 remain at 531.

Currently, there are 1,212 people with COVID-19 hospitalized.

Los Angeles County Schools Returning

As schools prepare to reopen after winter break and more people go back to work, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health strongly recommends that returning students and workers test for COVID-19 and wear a mask for at least 10 days to prevent a spike in transmission.

Public Health officials are asking for the community’s help in reducing the chances of another post-holiday surge and limiting the spread of new COVID-19 strains that could gain dominance in Los Angeles County. An increase in infection rates would disproportionately affect people over 50 and people with preexisting medical conditions or who are immunocompromised. All three groups are at higher risk for serious illness and death from COVID-19.

Los Angeles County currently remains in the Medium Community Level, based on its case and hospitalization rates. As people return to school and work after the winter holiday, they may unintentionally expose others to the disease, increasing outbreaks. It can take up to 10 days for a person who has COVID-19 to test positive or display symptoms of infection.

To limit the post-holiday spread of infection, county residents should test before going back to school or work and upon returning, wear a well-fitting, high-filtration mask indoors for at least 10 days, in addition to continuing to mask in indoor public spaces.

Wearing a mask during the 10-day incubation period for COVID-19 can slow transmission of the virus, minimize disruptions to work and learning, protect the people who are most vulnerable, and help make sure hospitals do not become overwhelmed.

In the past, as new COVID-19 strains have gained dominance, as XBB.1.5 is doing in many parts of the United States, there has been a spike in transmission, resulting in increased hospitalizations and deaths, especially among older people.

Older Los Angeles County residents remain the most vulnerable for hospitalization and deaths compared to other age groups. People age 50 and older accounted for the highest rates of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Los Angeles County for the 30-day period that ended Dec. 28. The rates increase with age. Residents who are 80-years-old and older, for example, are three times more likely to be hospitalized and five times more likely to die from COVID-19. Residents ages 65-79 were three times more likely to be hospitalized and six times likely to die than residents ages 50-64. Further, people ages 50-64 were more than five times likely to die than people ages 30-49 (See chart below).

Cumulative Rates LA County

In Los Angeles County, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 continue to be the dominant COVID-19 strains. However, XBB.1.5 is increasing in the United States, responsible for about 40% of cases nationally and an estimated 9% of COVID cases in California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Given the rise of XBB.1.5 in other parts of the country, we expect we may start to see increases in XBB.1.5 in LA County as well

To keep safe and safeguard others, Los Angeles County residents should stay up to date on all vaccines, wash their hands, wear a mask indoors and in very crowded outdoor spaces, stay home when sick and seek treatment as soon as they have symptoms.

For information on how to access vaccinations and treatment in Los Angeles County:

Vaccinations: Primary series vaccinations, updated bivalent boosters, and flu vaccines are readily available at Public Health sites, pharmacies, and other locations across the county. Seniors and residents who can’t easily leave their home may arrange for at-home vaccinations or transportation to a vaccination center by calling Public Health telehealth services at (833) 540-0473, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Residents also may visit VaccinateLACounty.com to find nearby vaccination sites, request a mobile vaccination team for a worksite or community event, or an in-home visit if someone is homebound.

Treatment: If a person tests positive for COVID-19 and has symptoms, such as fever, coughing, sneezing, unusual fatigue or muscle aches, oral antiviral medications are available by prescription. Medicines, such as Paxlovid, should be taken within five days of symptom onset to reduce the risk of hospitalization. To get a prescription, contact a health care provider or access telehealth services by calling (833) 540-0473, seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Insurance is not required, and callers may be assisted in multiple languages, regardless of immigration status.

Test-to-treat sites, where tests and prescriptions for medications are located at one site, are also available in Los Angeles County. To find a site, or for more information, visit ph.lacounty.gov/covidmedicines.

“I offer my condolences to those who have lost a loved one to COVID-19. I know the pain is felt deeply and I hope you find peace,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “With XBB.1.5 rising across the country, I want to be aware that very soon we could see the new strain become more dominant here in LA County. I hope everyone will take action to help minimize the impact, especially knowing it will be felt most by those vulnerable to severe illness. Every day I see examples of how people in LA County care for others and this is one more way to do so. We have learned a lot over the past few years and it is important that we all put the knowledge to use to help protect our community.”

L.A. County continues to report a significant number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

The 7-day average case count in the county is 2,111, a nearly 11% decrease from one week ago when the 7-day average of 2,359 cases was reported.

And over the past seven days, the average number of daily COVID-positive patients in L.A. County hospitals is 1247, nearly the same as last week when the average number of COVID-positive patients per day was 1207.

The county is currently reporting an average of 20 deaths per day, about a 20% increase from the average of 16 deaths reported per day a week ago.

William S. Hart Union High School District

The William S. Hart Union High School District provides ongoing information to our community regarding COVID-19 cases while maintaining confidentiality for our students and staff. The COVID-19 case data below is updated regularly to indicate any currently confirmed COVID-19 positive case in staff members or students by school site. The data below is specific to individuals who have been physically present on a District campus within 14 days of receiving a positive COVID-19 test. The District, in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, conducts contact tracing and directly notifies and provides resources for parents of students identified as close contacts (6 feet or less for 15 cumulative minutes or more).

Note: To see the communication process in the event of a positive COVID-19 case, visit
https://www.hartdistrict.org/apps/pages/covid-19dashboard
.

Schools Community Dashboard

Community Dashboard

Student Dashboard

Students

Staff Dashboard

Staff

Santa Clarita Valley Friday Update
As of 4 p.m. Friday, the L.A. County Public Health dashboard reported one additional death from COVID-19 in the city of Santa Clarita, bringing the total number of deaths in the SCV to 531.

NOTE: As of Dec. 20, 2022, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health switched to a new geocoding process to improve the accuracy and completeness of geocoded data. Geocoding is the process of assigning an address to specific geographic coordinates (latitude/longitude). As a result, approximately 1,500 cases (0.04%) were removed from the cumulative count as they were determined to be out of jurisdiction with the improved geocoding. The switch to this improved process also resulted in minor changes to cumulative case/death counts by Supervisor District, Service Planning Area, city/community, and area poverty categories.

The following is the community breakdown per L.A. County’s dashboard:

Santa Clarita: 432

Castaic: 30 (revised from 33)

Acton: 18 (revised from 19)

Stevenson Ranch: 17

Unincorporated Canyon Country: 10

Agua Dulce: 7

Elizabeth Lake: 4

Val Verde: 6

Valencia: 2

Unincorporated Bouquet Canyon: 2

Newhall: 1

Unincorporated Saugus/Canyon Country: 1

Lake Hughes: 1

 

SCV Cases

Of the 96,948 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:

Santa Clarita: 71,598

Castaic: 9,430

Stevenson Ranch: 5,822

Canyon Country: 3,667

Acton: 1,969

Val Verde: 1,199

Agua Dulce: 971

Valencia: 920

Saugus: 336

Elizabeth Lake: 282

Bouquet Canyon: 198

Lake Hughes: 200

Saugus/ CC: 124

Newhall: 105

Sand Canyon: 59

San Francisquito: 44

Placerita Canyon: 24

*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.

 

California Thursday

The California Department of Public Health now updates their numbers on Thursdays. The information below is from the most recent data released Thursday, Jan. 5.

CA

Vaccinations

– 87,120,315 total vaccines administered.

– 72.5% of the population has been vaccinated with a primary series.

– 28,044 people a day are receiving COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days).

Cases

– California has 10,934,798 confirmed cases to date.

– Thursday’s average case count is 6,224 (average daily case count over 7 days).

– During November 2022, unvaccinated people were 2.3 times more likely to get COVID-19 than people who were vaccinated with at least a primary series.

Testing

The testing positivity rate is 12.6% (average rate over 7 days).

Hospitalizations

– There are 4,547 hospitalizations statewide.

– There are 508 ICU patients statewide.

– During November 2022, unvaccinated people were 2.5 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who were vaccinated with at least a primary series.

Deaths

– There have been 98,038 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

– COVID-19 claims the lives of 34 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).

– During November 2022, unvaccinated people were 2.9 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who were vaccinated with at least a primary series.

Health Care Workers

As of Jan. 4, local health departments have reported 188,487 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 599 deaths statewide.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

As of December 19, there have been 1,048 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) reported statewide. 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.

Updated Boosters for Children
California Health & Human Services and CDPH sent a statement on Oct. 13, 2022 on the expanded eligibility for the updated Moderna and Pfizer boosters. Eligibility for the updated Moderna booster now extends to individuals 6 years of age and older and eligibility for the updated Pfizer booster now extends to individuals 5 years of age and older. This statement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation and has the support of the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.

Changes to Definition of Close Contact
CDPH is revising the definition of close contact related to COVID-19. The update, in keeping with the state’s SMARTER plan, provides strategies for responding to direct and indirect COVID-19 exposure in indoor environments, and aligns with the most current science, data, and information. These changes take effect Friday, Oct. 14, 2022.

The amended order can be viewed here, as well as a Q&A.

Updated Testing Requirements for Visitors to Health Care Facilities

Beginning Saturday, Sept. 17, visitors to health care facilities, such as skilled nursing facilities and general acute care hospitals, will no longer be required to be tested or show proof of vaccination in order to visit loved ones. Visitors must continue to comply with CDPH Masking Guidance while visiting loved ones indoors in these settings.

Facilities should continue to maintain all current infection prevention practices to protect the vulnerable populations in health care facilities. In addition, they should continue to offer testing for visitors per recommendations from CDPH and/or the local public health department and have the ability to ramp up testing if it is required again at a future date.

In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in updated testing guidance, indicated screening testing is no longer recommended in general community settings. Therefore, CDPH has also updated COVID-19 testing guidance.

Preparing for a Healthy 2022-23 School Year

The Safe Schools for All Hub consolidates key resources and information related to COVID-19 and schools.

Learn more about the COVID-19 mitigation strategies to keep students, staff, and communities safe in the 2022-23 K-12 Schools Guidance.

Get more information on changes to COVID-19 testing strategies for the 2022-23 school year in the 2022-23 K-12 Schools Testing Framework.

The CDPH Testing Taskforce School Testing team has released a 2022-2023 K-12 Schools Testing Framework Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Additional Updates

Mask Guidance: Under California’s mask guidance, universal masking is required only in specified higher risk settings like hospitals, public transit and congregate living facilities. Unvaccinated persons are required to mask in all indoor public settings. Fully vaccinated individuals are recommended to continue indoor masking when the risk may be high. Workplaces will continue to follow the COVID-19 prevention standards set by CalOSHA. Local health jurisdictions may implement requirements that are stricter than state guidance.

Slow the Spread: Get Vaccinated and Boosted for COVID-19

The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection continues as a number of Californians remain unvaccinated and unboosted.

Real-world evidence continues to show that the vaccine is preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Public health officials urge Californians to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible.

It is recommended that every individual six months of age and older receive their primary COVID-19 vaccine series and booster dose.

It is recommended that every vaccinated person 12 years or older should get a booster as long as they received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least five months ago or they received their Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

Vaccination appointments can be made by visiting myturn.ca.gov or calling 1-833-422-4255. The consent of a parent or legal guardian may be needed for those under age 18 to receive a vaccination. Visit Vaccinate All 58 to learn more about the safe and effective vaccines available for all Californians 5+.

Your Actions Save Lives

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

Keep California Healthy
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:

– Get vaccinated when it’s your turn. Californians age 16+ are eligible to make an appointment.

– If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), call your health care provider.

– If you believe you have been exposed, get tested. Free, confidential testing is available statewide.

– Keep gatherings small and outdoors and follow state and local public health guidance.

– Wear a mask and get the most out of masking – an effective mask has both good fit and good filtration.

– Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

– Delay non-essential travel outside of California until you are fully vaccinated. Follow California’s travel advisory.

– Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work and school if you feel ill.

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

– Answer the call or text if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect.

Additional data and udpates:

Tracking COVID-19 in California

State Dashboard – Daily COVID-19 data

County Map – Local data, including tier status and ICU capacity

Data and Tools – Models and dashboards for researchers, scientists, and the public

Blueprint for a Safer Economy– Data for establishing tier status

COVID-19 Race & Ethnicity Data – Weekly updated Race & Ethnicity data

Cases and Deaths by Age Group – Weekly updated Deaths by Age Group data

Health Equity Dashboard – See how COVID-19 highlights existing inequities in health

Tracking Variants – Data on the variants California is currently monitoring

Safe Schools for All Hub – Information about safe in-person instruction

School Districts Reopening Map – data on public schools and reported outbreaks

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

California Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Spanish

World Health Organization

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

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.

For more information about what Californians can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California.

California continues to issue guidance on preparing and protecting California from COVID-19. Consolidated guidance is available on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance webpage.

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LOS ANGELES COUNTY HEADLINES
Friday, Feb 3, 2023
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 19 new deaths throughout L.A. County, 1,417 new cases countywide and 25 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday, Feb 3, 2023
The California Public Utilities Commission has voted to accelerate the timeframe in which residential energy customers will receive a Climate Credit on their bills in order to provide much needed support to customers experiencing unusually high natural gas bills this winter.
Thursday, Feb 2, 2023
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday no additional deaths and 31 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, with 14 additional deaths and 1,354 new cases countywide.
Wednesday, Feb 1, 2023
The L.A. County Department of Economic Opportunity announced the launch of their new Economic Opportunity Grant program for microbusinesses. 
Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health today confirmed 56 new deaths throughout L.A. County, 2,946 new cases countywide and 70 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley since Saturday. Monday's COVID report from Los Angeles County Department of Public Health was delayed and included in today's reporting.

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