The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed 77 new deaths and 9,142 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported a new death on Saturday and five more fatalities Monday.
The Santa Clarita Valley has now tallied 17,964 COVID-19 cases – 767 more cases since Friday – and 133 deaths since the pandemic began.
The number of new cases and deaths reported Monday reflects reporting delays over the New Year’s holiday weekend, county Public Health officials noted in their daily report.
Since November 1, cases have increased by 905%.
To date, Public Health has identified 827,498 positive cases of COVID-19 and a total of 10,850 deaths across all areas of L.A. County.
“Our hearts and thoughts go to everyone who has lost a loved one, a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker. This overwhelming loss of life is unfathomable, and we will continue to hold all of you in our prayers,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of L.A. County Public Health.
There are currently 7,697 people in the hospital with COVID-19 and 21% of those people are in the ICU. When this surge began in early November, there was an average of 791 people hospitalized daily with COVID-19. On January 2, just two days ago, the three-day average number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was at a staggering 7,623 patients.
The high number of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals is distressing not only for those who have COVID-19 but also for all others in the county who need acute care during this time. People who have a stroke or heart attack or a traumatic injury from a car crash are finding it more difficult to access care compared to usual times.
COVID-19 testing results are available for nearly 4,804,000 L.A. County individuals, with 16% of people testing positive.
In slightly more than a month, the number of people that tested positive for COVID-19 doubled, from 400,000 cases on November 30 to more than 800,000 cases on January 2.
The Worst is ‘Around the Corner’
For the near future, based on all the travel and intermingling witnessed over the holiday, L.A. County is likely to experience increases in cases associated with the winter holidays.
With the average number of new daily COVID-19 cases anticipated to once again reach 15,000, L.A. County could experience, two weeks from now, 8,500 people hospitalized each day, and a week or two later, daily deaths rising to 175.
Given that residents are likely to experience in January the worst conditions they have faced the entire pandemic, Public Health officials urge everyone to take personal responsibility and do their part to stop the surge. The number of hospitalizations and deaths do not go down until the number of new cases decreases.
Officials urge everyone to stay home whenever possible. The fewer interactions, the less this deadly virus finds so many hosts and keeps spreading at a pace that wreaks havoc in every sector. If we stay home in January, we will help stop the surge and save lives.
See more SCV and L.A. County info later in this report.
California Monday Snapshot
Statewide, as of Sunday, January 3, the California Department of Public Health confirmed a total of 2,420,894 COVID-19 cases (up 29,633), with 26,635 deaths from the disease (up 97) since the pandemic began.
There are 21,128 confirmed hospitalizations and 4,584 ICU hospitalizations in the state, continuing a sharp upward trend.
As of January 3, local health departments have reported 71,411 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 263 deaths statewide.
There have been 34,127,013 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 314,227 over the prior 24-hour reporting period.
Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results may include cases from prior to yesterday.
As of January 3, a total of 454,306 vaccine doses have been administered statewide. As of December 28, a total of 1,762,900 vaccine doses have been distributed to local health departments and health care systems that have facilities in multiple counties.
The California Department of Consumer Affairs on Monday waived state law restrictions to allow licensed dentists to independently initiate and administer authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines to persons 16 years of age or older and, in cases involving a severe allergic reaction, epinephrine or diphenhydramine by injection.
Participating dentists must first complete a series of COVID-19 training programs available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and adhere to other requirements.
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 cases in the United States as of Monday afternoon, January 4, 2021.
U.S. Infections Surge Past 20 Million People; Deaths Top 350,000
Worldwide, 85,520,927 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 1,849,436 people have died of the virus as of 1:22 p.m. Monday Pacific Time, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
In the U.S., more than 20,757,339 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 353,050.
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 196,018, and No. 3 in cases with 7,733,746. India (population 1.353 billion) is No. 2 in cases, with 10,340,469 confirmed infections and 149,649 deaths as of Monday afternoon.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Monday Update
Henry Mayo reported a new death on Saturday and five more deaths on Monday, bringing the total of fatalities at the Valencia hospital to 78 since the pandemic began, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody.
In the month of November, 8 COVID-19 patients died at Henry Mayo. In December, four times that many people — 34 — died at the hospital, Moody said, an average of more than one death per day. In 2021, as of Monday, January 4, there have already been six deaths at Henry Mayo.
As of Monday, of the 15,666 people tested for COVID-19 at Henry Mayo to date, 2,651 tested positive, 18,583 were negative, 2 were pending, 98 patients were hospitalized in dedicated units receiving ICU-level care (10 more than last Wednesday), and a total of 722 COVID-19 patients have been treated and discharged so far, Moody said.
Discrepancies in the testing numbers at the hospital are due to some patients being tested multiple times, he said.
Henry Mayo releases complete statistics weekly, usually on Wednesdays, unless one or more new deaths occur.
Due to staffing shortages and a large number of COVID-19 patient admissions, Henry Mayo on Monday, December 30 issued a “code triage” alert and put out a call for nurses and doctors to fill open staff positions.
Santa Clarita Valley Monday Update
As of 6 p.m. Saturday, January 2, the latest update to the L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 data dashboard, 127 deaths had been reported among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began, not including the fatality reported Saturday by Henry Mayo or the five the hospital reported Monday.
Of the 133 SCV residents who have died, 109 lived in Santa Clarita, 6 in Castaic, 4 in Acton, 3 in Stevenson Ranch, 3 in unincorporated Canyon Country, 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, 1 in Val Verde, and 6 in communities not yet named.
Of the 17,964 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
* City of Santa Clarita: 12,725
* Castaic: 3,023 (includes Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)
* Stevenson Ranch: 659
* Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 526
* Acton: 289
* Val Verde: 199
* Agua Dulce: 142
* Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 110
* Saugus (unincorporated portion): 91
* Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 57
* Elizabeth Lake: 45
* Saugus/Canyon Country: 26
* Bouquet Canyon: 27
* Lake Hughes: 25
* Sand Canyon: 10
* San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 8
*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 Vaccine Update: Who Gets it When
Public Health continues efforts to safely and effectively deliver COVID-19 vaccines and build a system that has the capacity to vaccinate prioritized populations.
The CDC provides guidance for the allocation of vaccines and the state health department reviews and finalizes these recommendations to follow at the county level. L.A. County is implementing a system that builds vaccination capacity throughout the county. This includes relying on private and public healthcare partners and establishing sites where frontline healthcare workers identified in Phase 1A can be vaccinated.
As of Saturday, January 2, the county received a total of 189,995 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 96,390 doses had been administered to frontline healthcare workers at acute care hospitals.
As of Saturday, the county received 81,571 Moderna doses, of which 22,221 were administered to staff and residents at skilled nursing facilities as well as EMTs and paramedics.
The next Pfizer allocation, 82,745 doses, coming this week, will primarily be used to administer second doses to the first group of healthcare workers vaccinated in mid-December.
The county also expects to receive 50,700 Moderna doses, which will be administered primarily to priority groups within Tier 2 of Phase 1A. Tier 2 includes healthcare workers at urgent care and primary care clinics, home healthcare workers, and healthcare field workers who face a high risk of exposure.
The COVID-19 Healthcare Provider Information Hub is operational, where you can get more details on how to sign up for a vaccination appointment and what information is required.
Healthcare Workers Suffering Spike in Cases
L.A. County continues to experience increases in cases among healthcare workers. Since the pandemic began, 28,448 healthcare workers and first responders tested positive for COVID-19. Half of the cases are among Latino/Latinx healthcare workers, and 67% of cases are among women.
There have been a total of 132 deaths among healthcare workers, and 57% of these deaths occurred among men, which is an overrepresentation of deaths since the majority of cases are among women.
More than 75% of deaths are among healthcare workers who are age 50 years old and older, and 47% are among Latino/Latinx healthcare workers. The vast majority, 86%, of healthcare workers who passed away had underlying health conditions.
The highest number of healthcare worker deaths occurred among healthcare workers (67) at skilled nursing and long-term care facilities. The next highest number of deaths, (21,) occurred among healthcare workers who worked at hospitals followed by 11 deaths that occurred among healthcare workers who worked at outpatient facilities.
Tragically, we have seen deaths among healthcare workers and EMS personnel across many occupational settings. Nurses (39%) continue to account for the majority of deaths among healthcare workers.
“I hope all Los Angeles County residents will start the new year by asking what each of us can do to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Ferrer said.
“If we fail to use the tools currently available, our frontline healthcare workers, now caring for distressingly large numbers of COVID-19 patients, will face many more weeks of increasing numbers of patients and the heartbreaking loss of many lives,” she said.
“It’s better to be lonely than sick; better to care for others by following all the rules than to end up passing along the virus to someone who gets hospitalized or even dies,” Ferrer said. “We are grateful to the frontline healthcare workers who are fighting hard to save thousands of lives, but we all know that there are certain people who simply won’t survive the ravages of this powerful virus. This heartache does not need to continue.”
Community Transmission is Driving the Surge
Everyone needs to keep in mind that community transmission rates are so high that you run the risk of an exposure whenever you leave your house. Assume this deadly, invisible virus is everywhere, looking for a willing host. Don’t let that be you or someone you care about.
If you are going to work or to buy groceries or medicine, take every precaution possible. Try to never remove your face covering when near others, and avoid eating or drinking with anyone not in your household. Wash or sanitize your hands every hour if you are around others. Avoid any non-essential activity.
Public Health suggests you take a break from shopping, avoid any type of gathering, and exercise by yourself or with members from your household. Currently, more than one in five people who get tested are positive, and this helps explain why there is so much risk when you socialize with people you don’t live with.
L.A. County Demographics — Cases by Age Group (Los Angeles County only — excluding Long Beach and Pasadena)
Young people are continuing to drive the surge of the virus’s community spread with disastrous results for our elderly.
* 0 to 4: 15174
* 5 to 11: 36333
* 12 to 17: 44953
* 18 to 29: 190437
* 30 to 49: 266059
* 50 to 64: 149402
* 65 to 79: 58011
* over 80: 21645
* Under Investigation 5203
More L.A. County Demographics: Race/Ethnicity
As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, certain groups are again bearing a greater burden of serious illness and death than others from COVID-19.
Latino/Latinx residents are now experiencing a 14-day cumulative rate of 1,695 new cases per 100,000 people. That is an increase of 743% since the surge began on November 1.
The rate for Latino/Latinx residents is more than twice that of African American/Black residents, the group with the second-highest case rate of about 752 cases per 100,000 per day. White residents experience 635 cases per 100,000 per day and Asian residents experience 519 cases per 100,000 per day.
As with cases, the gaps in hospitalization rates by race and ethnicity are also widening. Latino/Latinx residents have a hospitalization rate of 80 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, a 627% increase since early November, and 3 times the rate of white residents. The number of African American/Black residents in hospitals is also increasing – to 57 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, a 714% increase since early November, and more than double that of white and Asian residents who currently have a rate of 26 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.
With this dramatic increase in hospitalizations, the county is also witnessing a surge in deaths among all races along with a constantly widening gap between the most impacted group – Latino/Latinx residents – and all others.
Since deaths began to rise among Latino/Latinx residents on November 11, the rate went from about 3 deaths per 100,000 people a day to nearly 16 deaths per 100,000 people a day. That is an increase of more than 400%.
The daily death rate among Latino/Latinx residents is twice as high as the rates for African American/Black residents and Asian residents, who experience about 8 deaths per 100,000 people a day from COVID-19.
The rate for white residents is 6 deaths per 100,000 people a day. Daily death rates for American/Black, Asian and white residents have tripled since November.
Public Health officials also continue to see a high mortality rate among people living in areas with the highest levels of poverty, with three times the death rate compared to people living in the lowest levels of poverty.
These gaps continue to highlight the need to provide resources and protection to all workers, and especially those workers – and their families – who are going to work every day.
These are our essential workers who work at our manufacturing and food processing plants, at our grocery stores and retail shops; they include our first responders, those who are keeping our utilities operating and our transit systems running, and the thousands of workers supporting our medical and hospital systems.
Targeted Stay at Home Orders Issued by the State
The targeted Stay at Home Orders issued by the California Department of Public Health and adopted by the L.A. County Health Officer have been extended and remain in effect.
These orders will remain in effect as long as hospital ICU capacity remains below the 15% threshold established by the state. These orders prohibit gathering with non-household members, require everyone to stay at home as much as possible, reduce occupancy limits at businesses, and require masking and distancing whenever around others.
The Southern California region’s ICU capacity remains 0% as of Monday.
Outdoor exercise is encouraged as long as you remain distanced and wear a face covering when around others.
The Health Officer Orders also require that all non-essential business and activities cease between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. A complete list of the current safety modifications can be found online. These orders are in place for your safety and the safety of others – to reduce the potential for virus transmission.
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.
California Regional Stay Home Order
Due to high rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations impacting the health care system, California is under a Limited Stay at Home Order. The order applies to all counties that are currently under the Regional Stay at Home Order and those in Tier One (Purple) of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
The Limited Stay at Home Order will expire after the Regional Stay Home Order has been terminated in all regions of the state.
Based on ICU data, four regions, San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, Greater Sacramento and the Bay Area are under the Regional Stay at Home Order as of Friday, Dec. 25.
Regions must remain under the Regional Stay at Home Order for at least three weeks and will be eligible to exit the order and return to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy only if ICU capacity projections for the following month are above or equal to 15%.
ICU capacity projections for regions that are eligible to exit the order are calculated daily based on four factors: current estimated regional ICU capacity available, the measure of current community transmission, current regional case rates, and the proportion of ICU cases being admitted. Decreasing community transmission and increasing the health system capacity can help a region’s projected ICU capacity so they can exit the order.
Current available ICU capacity by region as of Monday:
* Bay Area: 7.9%
* Greater Sacramento Region: 12.1%
* Northern California: 30%
* San Joaquin Valley: 0.0%
* Southern California: 0.0%
The earliest dates that regions may be eligible to exit are:
* San Joaquin: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.
* Southern California: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.
* Greater Sacramento: Remains under order; four-week ICU capacity projections do not meet criteria to exit order.
* Bay Area: Will remain under the order until January 8 at the earliest with the potential to extend depending on four-week ICU capacity projections.
The state continues to support hospital systems and congregate care facilities across the state as ICU capacity continues to drop. The state is providing staff assistance, personal protective gear, durable medical equipment and supplies, and infection prevention technical assistance.
On Sunday, December 13, CDPH implemented a temporary waiver of nurse-to-patient ratios for intensive care units, step-down units, emergency medical services and medical and surgical units. In addition, more than 300 additional medical staff has been deployed across the state, with more expected before the end of the month.
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.
Californians can go to covid19.ca.gov to find out where their county falls and what activities are allowable in each county.
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 December 13 to December 19, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.6 days. During this same time period, 51% of patients received test results in one day and 81% 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.
‘Safe Schools for All’ Plan
On Wednesday, December 30, Governor Newsom released his California’s “Safe Schools for All” plan, California’s framework to support schools to continue operating safely in person and to expand the number of schools safely resuming in-person instruction.
Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines
On Monday, December 28, the California Department of Public Health released an All Facilities Letter (AFL) on implementing the Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines issued in June. With the current surge in the pandemic, many hospitals are stretched to capacity.
The guidelines support facilities that are adapting their operations and space, including staff and other resources, to handle the surge as best as possible.
In addition to this support, it’s critical that all facilities are prepared for crisis care, during which times medical professionals may have to make hard choices about allocating treatments.
The state does not determine when a hospital implements crisis care standards: that’s determined by the on-the-ground conditions, hospital capacity, and available resources. The state’s role is to ensure all hospitals have done appropriate planning to make difficult decisions and to help hospitals remain in crisis care mode for as brief a period as possible.
Vaccinate All 58
The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being administered to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. The state is working closely with community partners and stakeholders to help ensure the vaccine is distributed and administered equitably across California.
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, sexual orientation and gender identity.
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 December 28, 159 cases of MIS-C have been reported statewide, an increase of 2 over 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
California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet – faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic and this summer. If COVID-19 continues to spread at this rate, it could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes.
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.
* Staying close to home, avoiding non-essential travel, and practicing self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival if you leave the state.
* Keeping interactions to people who live in your household.
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.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 256 new deaths and 9,277 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported it's 107th death.
The COVID-19 crisis has trashed recycling efforts and instead generated an increase in plastic waste, according to a recent study, but Los Angeles County restaurants could soon be required to make adjustments related to disposable food ware in an effort to reduce waste.
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 256 new deaths and 9,277 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported it's 107th death.
The Los Angeles County Library, in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is set to host a series of free virtual workshops running every other week on Fridays from January through June.
The Los Angeles County Development Authority will launch the Small Business Stabilization Loan Program on Jan. 28 and will begin accepting applications to help small businesses prevent further job loss and business closures.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 262 new deaths, including an additional death at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, and 8,512 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 countywide, with 22,360 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
SACRAMENTO – California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan issued the following statement Thursday advising providers that they can immediately resume the administration of lot 41L20A of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which was temporarily paused on Sunday due to possible allergic reactions.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger, whose 5th District includes the Santa Clarita Valley, is supporting the effort by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to address concerns of communities throughout Los Angeles County, which continue to experience ongoing Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) initiated by Southern California Edison (Edison).
The William S. Hart Union High School is looking for two new members to serve on the Measure SA Citizens’ Oversight Committee. These members will serve two-year terms with a maximum of three consecutive terms.