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February 2
1848 - SCV becomes part of the United States with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo [treaty]
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 20 new deaths throughout L.A. County, 3,257 new cases countywide and 195 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.

This new data brings Los Angeles County death totals to 34,410, county case totals to 3,598,453 and Santa Clarita Valley case totals to 95,062 since March of 2020. SCV deaths from COVID-19 remain at 521.

Of the 20 new deaths reported today, one person was between the ages of 18-29, 10 people were between the ages of 65-79, and nine people were aged 80 years or older. Of the 20 newly reported deaths, 18 had underlying health conditions.

Friday’s positivity rate is 10.9%.

There are 1,261 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 12,784,124 individuals, with 25% of people testing positive.

Public Health Asks Residents to Mask, Get Boosted

As deaths and hospitalizations continue to rise in Los Angeles County, surpassing numbers seen at this time last year, Public Health officials are asking residents to play an important role in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season by updating their vaccines, masking indoors, testing before gatherings, and staying home when sick.

This week, Los Angeles County remains in the High Community Level based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designation, despite a decrease in reported cases. There was an average of nearly 2,920 cases reported per day, a nearly 20% decrease from the 7-day average of 3,639 cases reported per day last week.

Los Angeles County, however, witnessed a troubling doubling in the reported 7-day average of deaths per day from two weeks ago, currently to 16 this week, including the county’s 20th confirmed pediatric death. This milestone is a somber reminder of the nearly 34,400 precious lives lost in Los Angeles County since the pandemic began.

Although the number of reported COVID-19 cases declined slightly in Los Angeles County, they remain more than 120% higher than numbers observed one month ago and wastewater data reaffirms that transmission of COVID is currently high. For the most recent week reported, the viral concentration of SARS-CoV-2 observed in wastewater was higher than it was during the peak concentration seen in July during our 2022 summer surge.

Over the past seven days, the average number of daily COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals is 1,252, very slightly elevated from last week when the average number of COVID-positive patients per day was 1,245. Based on data collected from 90 hospitals that are polled daily by the LA County Emergency Medical Services Agency, as of Dec. 12, there were 242 available adult beds, including ward and ICU beds. The average number of available beds so far in December is the lowest number reported in the past four years. Contributing factors include high circulating rates of respiratory illnesses and less available staff.

To minimize the transmission and impact of illness during the holidays, residents should think ahead about steps they can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the flu and other respiratory viruses. Importantly, being up to date on vaccines and the new bivalent booster provides essential protection against severe illness associated with COVID and flu.

Of the nearly 7.5 million county residents eligible for the bivalent booster, just 1.35 million residents have received it. While the number remains low, more people are getting the new booster – up to 18% this week compared to 16% on Nov. 27.

The new specially formulated bivalent booster for children 6 months through age 4 is now available in Los Angeles County. Previously, this booster was authorized only for children ages 5 and older. To maximize protection against COVID-19, dosing and eligibility for this new pediatric booster is dependent on the primary series the child receives.

If you have questions about vaccinating your child, you can call the Department of Public Health Vaccine Call Center at 1-833-540-0473 open daily 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Many vaccine sites received the new bivalent vaccines for young children this week. At the Public Health community sites, clinics and mobile vaccine teams, staff are trained and have begun administering these new vaccines.

To find a vaccine site, visit ph.lacounty.gov/howtogetvaccinated or residents can reach out to their provider. As a note, many general pharmacies do not vaccinate children under three years old so please check the Public Health website or contact your provider to find a site able to vaccinate young children.

In addition to getting the bivalent booster and seasonal flu vaccine, it is important this holiday season to continue to have plenty of well-fitting, high-filtration masks on hand, preferably N95s, KN95s, or KF94s. When choosing activities or planning an event, it also makes sense to look for outdoor options. If it doesn’t work to be outside, open windows and doors to increase ventilation inside.

It’s also crucial to use COVID tests before gatherings. For more information on types of tests, where to get them, and how to interpret them go to ph.lacounty.gov/COVIDtests. Also, the federal government reopened its free COVID test program; each household can get four free tests shipped to their home. Tests can be ordered at COVIDtests.gov and shipping will begin the week of Dec. 19.

Finally, it’s important for family and friends to stay home when sick to prevent others from getting ill. If you test positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms, the therapeutics Paxlovid and Molnupiravir are both prescription antivirals that can be taken at home. Both should be started within 5 days of symptom onset. Contact your provider if you have a fever, coughing and sneezing, unusual fatigue, muscle aches, or other symptoms. If you do not have a provider, you can call the Public Health call center at 1-833-540-0473 to get answers to your questions and access free telehealth services.

“I extend my condolences to the all of the families that have been impacted by loss due to COVID,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Navigating the pandemic has been made much easier with the new tools at hand and the data we can look at to better understand risk. High numbers no longer mean shutting down events or gathering over Zoom. We have the strategies, information, and resources to celebrate in-person with friends and family in a safe way. I hope that over the next few weeks, everyone can use this information to keep each other protected. Simple efforts can lead to big returns, and this works best when people come together and act collectively. We all have a role to play to reduce COVID-19 transmission and I appreciate the inspiring efforts I have witnessed in the community. Your actions have personal impact, and also impact the people around you.”

A wide range of data and dashboards on COVID-19 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health are available on the Public Health website at http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

A wide range of data and dashboards on COVID-19 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health are available on the Public Health website at http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov including:

COVID-19 Daily Data (cases, deaths, testing, testing positivity rate, mortality rate, and hospitalizations)

Gender, Age, Race/Ethnicity and City/Community Cases and Deaths

Contact Tracing Metrics

Skilled Nursing Facility Metrics

Citations due to Health Officer Order Noncompliance

Outbreaks:

Residential Congregate Settings

Non-Residential Settings

Homeless Service Settings

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

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/

California Department of Public Health:

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/nCOV2019.aspx

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Spanish https://espanol.cdc.gov/enes/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

World Health Organization https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

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

To keep workplaces and schools open, residents and workers are asked to:

– Get tested to help reduce the spread, especially if you traveled for the holidays, have had a possible exposure, or have symptoms, or are gathering with people not in your household

– Adhere to masking requirements when indoors or at crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status

– Residents are legally required to be isolated if they have a positive COVID test result and vaccinated close contacts with symptoms and unvaccinated close contacts need to be quarantined.

For information on where you can get tested, please visit www.covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/.

For updated isolation and quarantine guidance, please visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and are recommended for everyone 5 years old and older to help protect against COVID-19. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status. Appointments are not needed at all Public Health vaccination sites and many community sites where first, second, and third doses are available.

To find a vaccination site near you, or to make an appointment, please visit:

www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) or

www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish).

William S. Hart Union High School District COVID-19 Dashboard

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
hart community 121622

Student Dashboard
Hart student 121622

Staff Dashboard
Hart staff 121622

Santa Clarita Valley Friday Update

As of 4 p.m. Friday, the L.A. County Public Health dashboard reported no additional deaths, leaving the total number of deaths in the SCV at 521.

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

Santa Clarita: 423

Castaic: 33

Acton: 19

Stevenson Ranch: 17

Unincorporated Canyon Country: 10

Agua Dulce: 6

Elizabeth Lake: 3

Val Verde: 3 (revised from 4)

Valencia: 2

Unincorporated Bouquet Canyon: 2

Newhall: 1

Unincorporated Saugus/Canyon Country: 1

Lake Hughes: 1

 

SCV Cases

Of the 95,062 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:

Santa Clarita: 70,239

Castaic: 9,410

Stevenson Ranch: 5,693

Canyon Country: 3,453

Acton: 1,925

Val Verde: 1,042

Agua Dulce: 958

Valencia: 906

Saugus: 422

Elizabeth Lake: 265

Bouquet Canyon: 202

Lake Hughes: 199

Saugus/Canyon Country: 123

Newhall: 100

Sand Canyon: 59

San Francisquito: 43

Placerita Canyon: 23

*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 Friday

The California Department of Public Health now updates their numbers on Thursdays. The information below is from the most recent data released Thursday, Dec. 15.

California

Vaccinations

– 86,382,928 total vaccines administered.

– 72.4% of the population has been vaccinated with a primary series.

– 50,767 people a day are receiving COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days).

Cases

– California has 10,790,192 confirmed cases to date.

– The daily average case count is 8,669 (average daily case count over 7 days).

– During October 2022, unvaccinated people were 2.2 times more likely to get COVID-19 than people who were vaccinated with at least a primary series.

Testing

The testing positivity rate is 11.1% (average rate over 7 days).

Hospitalizations

– There are 4,508 hospitalizations statewide.

– There are 511 ICU patients statewide.

– During October 2022, unvaccinated people were 2.4 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who were vaccinated with at least a primary series.

Deaths

– There have been 97,199 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

– COVID-19 claims the lives of 14 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).

– During October 2022, unvaccinated people were 3.1 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who were vaccinated with at least a primary series.

Health Care Workers

As of Dec. 15, local health departments have reported 186,335 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 597 deaths statewide.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

As of Nov. 14, there have been 1,036 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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SCV NewsBreak
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