Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Monday confirmed 13 new deaths and 880 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 145th death, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the green-light to maskless indoor gatherings among fully vaccinated people.
The Santa Clarita Valley has now tallied a total of 26,583 cases — 180 more than Friday — and 272 deaths since the pandemic began, according to Public Health data.
Today’s death and case numbers represent an undercount associated with lag in weekend reporting.
Still, L.A. County has returned to daily case numbers that are at pre-surge levels, Public Health officials said in their Monday update.
The seven-day average number of daily cases by episode date has continued to decrease, and as of February 28 is 700.
To date, Public Health officials identified 1,204,018 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 22,041 deaths.
“Our thoughts are with every person who has lost a loved one from COVID-19 this past year. We all mourn each unique, special person that has passed away and we send our deepest sympathies to their friends and families,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health.
There are 1,132 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 31% of these people are in the ICU.
Testing results are available for nearly 5,900,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive. Monday’s daily test positivity rate is 2.0% and declining.
To date, more than 2,415,000 doses of vaccine have been administered across the county.
Of those vaccinated, 814,593 people have received second doses.
This includes providers both in our county network and those providers receiving direct vaccine allocations from the state and the federal government.
“We are at a point in the pandemic where we have a great deal of optimism,” Ferrer said. “We are making progress on vaccinating our residents, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are decreasing, and we are likely moving into a less restrictive tier.”
To maintain progress, she said, “We will need to continue making slowing transmission a central part of our day-to-day lives. That means choosing not to travel and choosing not to gather with large numbers of people we do not live with. It also means wearing a mask and keeping distance whenever we are outside of our home and around others. Let’s please keep this positive momentum going so all of our children can return to school as safely as possible and we can continue to prevent illness and save lives.”
See more SCV and L.A. County info and a vaccine update later in this report.
California Monday Snapshot
Statewide, as of Sunday, March 7, California Department of Public Health officials confirmed 3,497,578 COVID-19 cases (up 4,452) with 53,866 deaths from the disease (up 418) since the pandemic began.
There are 4,004 confirmed hospitalizations and 1,152 ICU hospitalizations in the state, continuing a flattening trend.
As of March 5, local health departments have reported 97,277 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 404 deaths statewide.
There have been 49,512,828 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 218,325 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.
The 7-day positivity rate is 2.1% and the 14-day positivity rate is 2.3%.
Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results may include cases from prior to yesterday.
As of March 6, providers have reported administering a total of 10,213,706 vaccine doses statewide.
The CDC reports that 13,345,790 doses have been delivered to entities within the state, and 13,743,075 vaccine doses, which includes the first and second dose, have been shipped. Numbers do not represent true day-to-day change as reporting may be delayed.
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 deaths in the United States as of Monday afternoon, March 8, 2021.
U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Surpass 525,000 People as Cases Decline
Worldwide, 117,060,462 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 2,597,318 people have died of the virus as of 1:25 p.m. Monday Pacific Time, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
In the U.S., more than 29,033,369 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 525,619.
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 265,411 — half of the U.S. total — and No. 3 in cases with 11,019,344. India (population 1.353 billion) is No. 2 in cases, with 11,229,398 confirmed infections and No. 4 in deaths with 157,853, behind No. 3 Mexico’s 190,604 deaths, as of Monday afternoon.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Monday Update
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Monday reported its 145th death due to COVID-19, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody.
As of Monday, no cases were pending, seven patients were hospitalized in a dedicated COVID-19 unit receiving ICU-level care, and a total of 1,168 patients had been treated and discharged, Moody said.
Henry Mayo releases complete statistics weekly, usually on Wednesdays, unless one or more new deaths occur.
Privacy laws prohibit Henry Mayo from releasing the community of residence for patients who die at the hospital; residence info is reported by the L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 dashboard, which generally lags 48 hours behind.
Santa Clarita Valley Monday Update
As of 6 p.m. Saturday, the latest update of the L.A. County Public Health dashboard counted 271 deaths among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began, but did not yet include the death reported by Henry Mayo on Monday.
Of the 272 SCV residents who have died, 233 lived in Santa Clarita, 16 in Castaic, seven in Acton, three in Agua Dulce, three in unincorporated Canyon Country, three in Stevenson Ranch, one in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, one in Lake Hughes, one in Newhall, one in unincorporated Saugus/Canyon Country, one in Val Verde, one in Valencia, and one in a community not yet named.
Of the 26,583 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
* City of Santa Clarita: 19,439
* Castaic: 3,623 (incl. Pitchess Detention Center & North County Correctional Facility*)
* Stevenson Ranch: 1,078
* Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 801
* Acton: 455
* Val Verde: 316
* Agua Dulce: 256
* Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 184
* Saugus (unincorporated portion): 132
* Elizabeth Lake: 75
* Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 66
* Bouquet Canyon: 45
* Lake Hughes: 40
* Saugus/Canyon Country: 40
* Sand Canyon: 17
* San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 15
* Placerita Canyon: 1
*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.
L.A. County Demographics — Cases by Age Group (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena)
* 0 to 4: 22451
* 5 to 11: 54316
* 12 to 17: 68102
* 18 to 29: 269533
* 30 to 49: 379577
* 50 to 64: 22061
* 65 to 79: 88104
* over 80: 31995
* Under Investigation 6821
L.A. County Demographics — Deaths
Of the 13 new deaths reported today, one person that passed away was over the age of 80, four people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, five people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, and three people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49.
L.A. County Vaccine Update
At this time, healthcare workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities, people 65 or older, education and childcare workers, food and agriculture workers, emergency service workers, and law enforcement personnel are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Those eligible for the vaccine will continue to be eligible if they’ve not yet been vaccinated.
While COVID-19 vaccine supply remains very limited, Public Health continues to build an extensive network with pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, hospitals, health clinics, and community vaccination sites, including seven large-capacity sites:
* Dodger Stadium (operated by the city of Los Angeles)
* California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge 91330
* Pomona Fairplex, 1101 W McKinley Ave, Pomona 91768
* The Forum, 3900 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood 90305
* L.A. County Office of Education, 12830 Columbia Way, Downey 90242
* California State University, Los Angeles, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles 90032 (operated by FEMA)
To date, more than 2,415,000 doses of vaccine have been administered across the county. Of those vaccinated, 814,593 people have received second doses.
As of last week, 58% of L.A. County residents 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 30% received both doses. For our 65 and older residents, one of our big concerns is reaching homebound people and making sure they have access to the vaccine. Right now, Public Health officials are working with City Fire Departments and Health Plans to identify these people so that they can be vaccinated.
There are more than 375 vaccination sites receiving a portion of the 312,690 total doses allocated to the County of L.A. for this week. This allocation includes 54,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The county’s network of vaccination sites has the capacity for 626,000 appointment slots this week, even with the increased doses, we only have enough doses for about 312,000 appointments. Our large-capacity vaccination sites alone could be providing 195,000 additional doses this week if there were sufficient supply.
At the hundreds of vaccination sites across the county, including pharmacies and many community clinics, appointments are open to any L.A. County resident or workers meeting the eligibility requirements.
For information about vaccine appointments in L.A. County and when your turn is coming up, to sign up for a vaccination newsletter, and much more, visit www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish). Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.
Toward the Red Tier: More Vaccine for Lowest-Resourced Areas
Last Friday, the state announced updates to its “Blueprint for a Safer Economy.” In addition to assessing county case rates, positivity rates, and positivity rates in neighborhoods with the lowest scores in the Healthy Places Index, the state is now taking into consideration the number of vaccinations that have been administered in the lowest-resourced neighborhoods statewide.
Unlike the other three metrics, vaccination numbers will be calculated statewide and used to change the case rate thresholds for counties to move from one tier to another.
Once 2 million vaccine doses have been administered in the state to the communities with the lowest score in the Healthy Places Index, the threshold to move from the purple tier to the red tier will go from 7 new cases per 100,000 people to 10 new cases per 100,000 people. To move to the orange tier, the threshold will remain at 4 cases per 100,000 people, and to move to the yellow tier, the threshold will remain at 1.
Once 4 million vaccine doses have been administered in the state to the communities with the lowest score in the Healthy Places Index, the threshold to move from the purple tier to the red tier will remain at 10 per 100,000 people, but the threshold will change for moving to the orange tier, from 4 new cases per 100,0000 residents to 6 cases per 100,000 people, and to move to the yellow tier, the threshold will change from 1 new case per 100,000 residents to 2 cases per 100,000 people.
The state anticipates administering 2 million doses to residents in hard-hit communities by the end of the week. Last week, the case rate in L.A. County was below 10 new cases per 100,000 residents. If this week’s adjusted case rate remains below 10 new cases per 100,000 people, Public Health officials’ understanding is that within 48 hours of the state announcing the vaccine trigger has been met, Los Angeles County, along with other counties with qualifying case rates, would move into the red tier. Officials will be working with the Board of Supervisors and sector partners to prepare appropriate modifications to the Health Officer Order reflecting the county’s move to the red tier.
Outdoor Sporting Events Update
The state also announced plans to permit the reopening of outdoor sporting events, live outdoor concerts, and theme parks. Starting April 1, outdoor sporting events and outdoor live concerts will be permitted with significant capacity and infection control modifications.
For counties in the purple tier, capacity at these outdoor events will be limited to 100 people or less, reservations will be required, and concessions will not be allowed. Only people who live in the region where the event is taking place will be permitted to attend.
Once in the red tier, these outdoor events can open at 20% capacity, limited to in-state visitors only; concessions will be allowed only while seated. As counties move into less restrictive tiers, the allowed capacity will increase.
Schools Reopening Update
Public Health is also preparing for schools to be permitted, in the red tier, to open for on-site learning for grades 7 through 12.
As schools prepare for these students, they must have an updated State COVID-19 Safety Plan (CSP), including the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Program and the CDPH COVID-19 School Guidance Checklist posted to the school or district website no less than 5 days before their planned opening date.
Schools will also have to file an updated L.A. County Reopening Survey and an updated L.A. County Reopening Protocol for K through 12 Schools at least 5 days before the proposed reopening date for grades 7 through 12. More information will be available online.
New CDC Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance for fully vaccinated people. The guidance states that fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people in small groups without wearing masks or practicing physical distancing.
Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks or more after they received the second dose of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks or more after they received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Fully vaccinated people can also visit unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease, indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing. For example, fully vaccinated grandparents can visit with their unvaccinated grandchildren, as long as their grandchildren do not have serious health conditions.
Fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance in public. They should mask, physically distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting unvaccinated people at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease, or who have an unvaccinated household member at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease, and when around unvaccinated people from multiple households.
Fully vaccinated people should also avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings. There is a growing body of evidence that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have an asymptomatic infection and potentially less likely to transmit COVID-19 to others.
However, given the need for additional research, preventive measures continue to be important during vaccine implementation.
L.A. County and the state are reviewing this guidance and will be updating county guidance shortly.
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.
Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been identified globally during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These genetic mutations are expected, and some emerge and then disappear, while others persist or become common. Most variants do not have a meaningful impact.
Public health becomes concerned about a variant when it affects COVID-19 transmission, severity, testing, treatment, or vaccine effectiveness.
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.
With the Regional Stay at Home Order rescinded statewide as of January 25, all counties are now under the rules and framework of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and color-coded tiers that indicate which activities and businesses are open based on local case rates and test positivity.
Blueprint summary as of March 2:
* 40 counties are currently in the Purple (widespread) Tier (including Los Angeles County)
* 16 counties are currently in the Red (substantial) Tier
* 2 counties are currently in the Orange (moderate) Tier
* No counties are in the Yellow Tier
The state released updates to the state’s reopening framework on Friday, March 5. The updates will allow outdoor ballparks, stadiums, and theme parks to open with significantly reduced capacity, mandatory masking, and other public health precautions. The updates will take effect on April 1.
Vaccinate All 58
In order to increase the pace of COVID-19 vaccine distribution to those at greatest risk, the state is prioritizing individuals 65 and older to receive the vaccine as demand subsides among health care workers. This effort will help to reduce hospitalizations and save lives.
To sign up for a notification when you’re eligible for a vaccine, visit myturn.ca.gov.
‘Safe Schools for All’ Plan
Governor Newsom launched the Safe Schools for All Hub as a one-stop-shop for information about safe in-person instruction.
For more information on the transparency, accountability, and assistance measures related to California’s Safe Schools for All plan, visit the hub.
California Public Health has issued an updated travel advisory. 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.
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, age group, and sexual orientation/gender identity.
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 February 21 to February 27, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.2 days. During this same time period, 78% of patients received test results in one day and 94% 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.
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 March 1, 331 cases of MIS-C have been reported statewide, 29 more than 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.
Protect Yourself and Your Family: Your Actions Save Lives
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.
* 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 healthcare provider before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
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.
California Senate Bill 545, a measure to provide additional resources to struggling students, has received unanimous support from the Senate Education Committee, announced Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita).
California Senate Bill 545, a measure to provide additional resources to struggling students, has received unanimous support from the Senate Education Committee, announced Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita).
The Executive Office of the Board of Supervisors announced the leadership team of the newly formed Probation Oversight Commission who will be tasked to lead efforts to monitor the Probation Department’s progress on systemic reform.
The Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons will host a virtual Open House on Wednesday, April 28 to help those interested in advancing their careers by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
The Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective, coordinated by the Department of Arts and Culture, and KCET have joined forces to create a new documentary that explores the value of arts education for the youth, communities, and creative economy of L.A. County.
The Santa Clarita Valley League of Women Voters, partnering with College of the Canyons Center for Civic Engagement and its Engage the Vote Student Action Team, is sponsoring a virtual, “Conversation with Mayor Bill Miranda,” on Monday, April 19, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.