As the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed 13 new deaths and 1,198 new cases of COVID-19, including the Santa Clarita Valley’s 53rd fatality, officials see signs of the spread of COVID-19 slowing in key indicators, including daily hospitalizations and deaths.
The latest SCV resident to die lived in Castaic and was the fifth Castaic fatality since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Public Health reports that daily hospitalizations numbers have decreased by 45% from their peak above 2,200 in mid-July. There are 1,219 confirmed cases currently hospitalized; 32% of those patients are in the ICU.
The decreasing number of daily hospitalizations is one of the best indicators because it is an accurate representation of how many people are currently seriously ill from the virus.
To date, Public Health identified 232,893 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 5,558 deaths.
In mid-to-late July, the daily reported number of new cases was around 3,200 cases per day. As of August 22, the 7-day average is 1,400 daily reported new cases.
In mid-July, the 7-day average of people dying from COVID-19 was an average of 44 deaths per day. On August 16, the average number of deaths was at an average of 28 deaths per day.
Test results are available for more than 2,195,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive. The department is currently seeing a 7-day average positivity rate between 5% and 6%.
“Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone who has lost a loved one or friend to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health.
“Thankfully, the work we have all done as a community and the sacrifices we are making are working,” Ferrer said. “If we can maintain this lower rate of transmission, it means that we could begin to think about schools, more businesses reopening or, someday, moving their operations back indoors.
“I know this has been an extraordinarily difficult time, but we must all take our roles seriously and be diligent,” she said. “It is everyone’s goal to get to a place of safer reopening. But community transmission rates must continue to decrease if we are to get to this place – including where schools can reopen in a way that is safer for students, teachers and staff members.”
California Monday Snapshot
Statewide, as of Sunday, August 23, the California Department of Public Health confirmed a total of 668,615 COVID-19 cases (up 4,946), with 12,152 deaths from the disease (up 18). There are 4,467 confirmed hospitalizations and 1,397 ICU hospitalizations in the state.
California’s 7-day positivity rate is 5.6% and the 14-day positivity rate is 6.5%.
As of August 23, local health departments have reported 30,474 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 145 deaths statewide.
Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
COVID Around the World: USA Leader in Cases, Deaths
Worldwide, 23,522,806 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 796,095 people have died as of 1:27 Monday afternoon, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
More than 5,730,294 Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while the number of people in the U.S. who have died due to the virus has surpassed 177,065.
The United States has the highest case and death rate in the world. By comparison, Brazil, at #2, had confirmed 3.6 million cases and 114,744 deaths as of Monday afternoon.
Santa Clarita Valley Monday Update
The L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 data dashboard as of the latest update at 8 p.m. Saturday confirms 53 SCV residents have died of the virus since the pandemic began.
Of the dead, 41 lived in the city of Santa Clarita, 5 in Castaic, 2 in Acton, 2 in Stevenson Ranch, 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, 1 in Val Verde, and 1 in unincorporated Valencia.
Of the 5,200 cases reported to Public Health among SCV residents to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
City of Santa Clarita: 2,820
Castaic: 1,890 (most from Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)
Stevenson Ranch: 145
Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 112
Val Verde: 59
Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 40
Agua Dulce: 24
Saugus (unincorporated portion): 26
Bouquet Canyon: 6
Elizabeth Lake: 6
Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 6
Sand Canyon: 5
Lake Hughes: 2
Saugus/Canyon Country: 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.
Henry Mayo Monday Update
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 21st COVID-related death on Friday, August 7, according to Patrick Moody, hospital spokesman. Due to privacy constraints, the hospital does not disclose patients’ cities of residence.
Henry Mayo now releases statistics weekly, on Wednesdays, unless there is a drastic change in the number of cases or a COVID-related death has been confirmed.
As of Wednesday, August 19, of the 6,236 people tested at Henry Mayo to date, 748 tested positive, 7,075 were negative, 22 were pending, 7 patients were hospitalized in a dedicated unit receiving ICU-level care (down from 9 the previous Wednesday and 25 the week before that), and a total of 226 COVID-19 patients have been discharged so far. Fatalities at the hospital stand at 21, Moody confirmed.
Discrepancies in the testing numbers are due to some patients being tested multiple times. “Often a single patient is tested more than once,” Moody said.
L.A. County Demographics
Of the 13 new deaths reported Monday, nine people who died (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena) were over 80 years old, two people were between 65 and 79 years old, one person was between 50 and 64 years old, and one person was between 30 and 49 years old.
Eleven people had underlying health conditions including eight people over 80 years old, one person between 65 and 79 years old, one person between 50 and 64 years old, and one person between 30 and 49 years old.
Countywide, 92% of people who died had underlying health conditions.
Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 5,231 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 50% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 24% among White residents, 15% among Asian residents, 10% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races.
Best Practices for Best Protection
The best protection against COVID-19 continues to be to wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, self-isolate if you are sick, practice physical distancing, wear a clean face covering that securely covers both your nose and mouth, and to stay home and limit activities outside to what is essential – work, getting groceries and medicine, and medical visits.
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 24 hours after symptoms and fever subside, or until they receive a negative result.
If someone has been in close contact with a person with COVID-19, they will need to quarantine for 14 days from when they last had close contact with the infectious person.
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.
Here’s the L.A. County incident report for Monday, August 24:
California County Monitoring Data
As of Monday, a total of 35 California counties including Los Angeles and Ventura are required to close indoor operations for certain sectors based on the July 13 order to slow community transmission.
Counties on the County Monitoring List for three or more consecutive days must have closed indoor operations for additional activities.
The July 13 order specifies that these indoor operations shall remain closed, even when a county is removed from the county monitoring list until the state health officer modifies the order and authorizes re-opening. The state is actively reassessing the July 13 order in light of evolving scientific evidence regarding disease transmission and the risk of transmission in different settings and will provide updates in the coming week.
The CDPH released updated testing guidance on July 23 that focuses on testing hospitalized individuals with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and people being tested as part of the investigation and management of outbreaks, including contact tracing.
The testing guidance also prioritizes individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms and individuals without symptoms who fall into high-risk categories, including people who live and work in nursing homes, homeless shelters and prisons, healthcare workers, and patients in hospitals.
The new guidance will ensure that Californians who most need tests get them even if there are limited supplies.
Overall, for adults 18 and older, Latinos, African Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are dying at disproportionately higher levels.
The proportion of COVID-19 deaths in African Americans is more than one-and-a-half times their population representation across all adult age categories. For Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, overall numbers are low, but almost double between the proportion of COVID-19 deaths and their population representation.
More males are dying from COVID-19 than females, in line with national trends.
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 August 18, there have been 39 cases of MIS-C reported statewide, an increase of 3 over the previous week.
To protect patient confidentiality in counties with fewer than 11 cases, CDPH is 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
Every person has a role to play. Protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense:
* 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.
* Practicing social distancing
* 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
* 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, to 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.
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