The L.A. County Public Health Department on Friday reported a total of 17 deaths related to COVID-19 for the Santa Clarita Valley area, nine more than the death toll previously known to the public.
The tally shows a total of 15 deaths in the city of Santa Clarita, one in Acton and one in Castaic, according to Public Health’s reports as of Friday morning.
Previously, only eight deaths were publicly known for the SCV area, with seven of them having taken place at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, according to hospital officials.
The new total of 17 deaths does not mean the local death toll increased by nine in a single day. Previous totals reported in The Signal have been based on other sources of information because the county initially was not providing a geographic breakdown of the countywide death toll.
None of the 17 deaths are attributed as custody deaths at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, according to communications officials with Public Health via email on Friday. Any custody deaths that would occur at Pitchess would be added to the total for Castaic.
The updated death toll comes as Los Angeles County amends its health officer order, allowing all retail businesses and some outdoor spaces, such as beaches and trails, to reopen but with continued safety measures, such as the requirement to wear face masks and practice physical distancing.
The Santa Clarita City Council has also taken steps to reopen the city quicker than other local government, saying its rate of infection remains “very low” compared to other areas of the county, according to a recent letter of opposition to the Board of Supervisors regarding any new extensions of the county’s Safer at Home order.
“With this information provided and the active efforts to ‘slow the spread’ and “flatten the curve,’ the City Council believes this request for flexibility is justified for the cities in the North County region to begin the economic recovery process,” read the letter.
While updates to the death toll tally and number of cases are expected Friday afternoon, a breakdown of deaths in the regions reported by Public Health is below:
City of Santa Clarita: 15
Unincorporated – Acton: 1
Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 0
Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 0
Unincorporated – Castaic: 1
Unincorporated – Saugus: 0
Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 0
Unincorporated – Val Verde: 0
Unincorporated – Valencia: 0