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January 19
1967 - Original airing of Star Trek "Arena" Episode: Kirk battles the Gorn commander (Saugus resident Bobby Clark) at Vasquez Rocks [watch]
Kirk vs. Gorn commander


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed 48 new deaths and 7,344 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported three new deaths, and the first COVID vaccine was administered in the county.

The number of new cases reported Monday reflects a reporting lag from one large lab, which started reporting a backlog of cases Monday, Public Health officials noted in their daily report.

The Santa Clarita Valley has now tallied 12,337 confirmed COVID-19 cases among residents – 582 more new cases since Friday, backlog notwithstanding – and deaths remain at 89, according to the latest Public Health data, which does not yet include two of the deaths reported by Henry Mayo last week or the three new deaths the hospital reported Monday.

To date, 50 COVID patients have died at Henry Mayo, and the SCV’s death toll now stands at 94 since the pandemic began.

Countywide, of the 4,203 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, 21% of them are in the ICU.

There are only 2,100 adult ICU beds across county hospitals and many of these beds are essential for patients that need intensive care for other illnesses including trauma, cardiac surgeries, serious infections, and cancer treatments.

To date, Public Health has counted 8,345 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 532,730 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County.

“Our hearts go out to every person who is mourning a loved one or friend who has passed away from COVID-19. We are so sorry for your loss,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health.

Henry Mayo

County Hospitalizations Break Daily Record Highs 2 Weeks Straight

Since the beginning of the surge on November 1, cases have increased 625%, with younger people continuing to drive the increase in community transmission in the county. More than 70% of cases are from people under the age of 50 years old.

Monday’s number reflects an increase of more than 1,200 patients in just a week, when on December 7, the daily number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was 2,988. Since December 1, the county has surpassed previous all-time highs every day.

While the highest number of cases are among young adults, the steepest increase in hospitalizations is experienced by older residents. Residents over 80 years old have consistently experienced the highest rates of hospitalization among all age groups in L.A. County followed by residents 65 to 79 years old, and residents 50 to 64 years old.

Public Health officials said the county’s reality is “frightening at the moment,” with more than 4,200 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and almost half of the county’s ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.

By the coming weekend, there are likely to be more than 5,000 patients hospitalized, and more than 50% of ICU beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, officials said.

Equally important as ICU bed capacity is ICU staffing capacity. Every bed needs to be staffed by highly trained and skilled healthcare workers. The recent surge in cases has resulted in huge increases in cases among our healthcare workers. In the last two weeks, there have been more than 3,400 new cases among healthcare workers. In early November there were 40 new cases among healthcare workers per day; last week there were nearly 250 cases among healthcare workers per day.

“We continue to see extremely high numbers of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 — the surge we are experiencing is alarming,” Ferrer said. “If you are not playing by the rules, to be blunt, you are part of the problem, and at this point, you are contributing to these distressing increases in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.”

The best thing everyone can do right now is to stay home as much as possible and only go out for work, exercise, or for essential services.

When you must leave your home, always wear a face covering and stay at least 6 feet away from people you do not live with at all times.

Individuals with underlying health conditions and those who are older should remain in their home and not be around others unless seeking routine or essential health and dental care. If you are having difficulty breathing, go to an emergency room or call 911.

covid-19 roundup monday dec 14 2020

Los Angeles County-based Intensive Care Nurse Helen Cordova was one of first healthcare workers to receive the COVID vaccine in California. | Photo: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives in L.A. County

The first shipment of vaccine arrived Monday at one of nine pre-positioned sites, with the remaining eight sites receiving their shipment over the next two days.

The current expected initial allocation for L.A. County is 82,875 doses, and officials hope to receive two additional allocations in December. This does not include allocations for the cities of Long Beach and Pasadena, which have their own independent health departments and are receiving their own allocations.

The nine prepositioned sites have been working with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and EMS to make arrangements to redistribute vaccine so that every acute care hospital that serves COVID-19 patients receives a pro-rata share of this initial allocation.

Public Health has been hosting webinars, holding office hours, and distributing information in order to help prepare all the acute care hospitals for this large undertaking.

A second allocation of the vaccine that should arrive later this month will allow for a distribution of vaccines to all health care personnel and residents at our skilled nursing facilities, along with continued distribution to frontline healthcare and EMS personnel.

“I want to thank the many people who made today possible starting with the scientists and researchers who have shown incredible diligence and ingenuity under the most pressing circumstances, the volunteers who participated in the clinical trials, the production teams who found ways to quickly manufacture this life-saving vaccine, and the transportation teams who have managed the crucial work of getting the vaccine to facilities across the country so that vaccinations can begin immediately,” Ferrer said.

“And to all the public health practitioners at federal, state, and local health departments, thank you for the 24/7 work to ensure the safe and equitable distribution of this vaccine across every community,” she said, “because it is likely to take a few months to have enough vaccine available to immunize the millions of individuals who live and work in L.A. County.”

See more L.A. County updates later in this report.

covid-19 roundup monday dec 14 2020 california

California Monday Snapshot

Statewide, as of Sunday, December 13, the California Department of Public Health confirmed a total of 1,585,044 COVID-19 cases (up 33,278), with 21,046 deaths from the disease (up 77) since the pandemic began.

There are 13,365 confirmed hospitalizations and 2,967 ICU hospitalizations in the state, continuing a very sharp upward trend.

The 7-day positivity rate is 10.6% and the 14-day positivity rate is 10.5%, also continuing a very sharp upward trend.

As of December 13, local health departments have reported 59,968 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 229 deaths statewide.

There have been 27,552,039 tests conducted in California, an increase of 356,452 over the prior 24-hour reporting period.

Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results include cases from prior to yesterday.

See more California information later in this report.

covid-19 roundup monday dec 14 2020

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, December 14, 2020.

U.S. Deaths Top 300K as Pfizer Vaccine Deployment, Vaccinations Begin

Worldwide, 72,650,979 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 1,618,617 people have died of the virus as of 1:26 p.m. Monday Pacific Time, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

In the U.S., where new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue breaking records, the Pfizer vaccine received FDA authorization last Thursday and distribution and vaccinations began over the weekend.

More than 16,407,785 Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19. New cases and hospitalizations continue at all-time record highs. The number of people in the U.S. who have died due to the virus has now surpassed 300,361.

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 181,402, and No. 3 in cases with 6,901,952. India (population 1.353 billion) is No. 2 in cases, with 9,884,100 confirmed cases and 143,355 deaths as of Monday afternoon.

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Monday Update

With one new death reported Friday and three more Monday, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s death total has risen to 50, according to spokesman Patrick Moody.

Henry Mayo releases complete statistics weekly, usually on Wednesdays, unless a new death occurs, Moody said.

As of Monday, December 14, of the 13,755 people tested at Henry Mayo to date, 1,777 tested positive, 16,590 were negative, 7 were pending, 74 patients were hospitalized in a dedicated unit receiving ICU-level care and a total of 497 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.

Privacy laws prohibit the hospital from releasing the community of residence for patients who die there; that info is reported by the L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 dashboard, which is generally 48 hours behind.

covid-19 cases monday december 14

Santa Clarita Valley Monday Update

As of 8 p.m. Saturday, December 12, the latest update to the L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 data dashboard, 89 deaths had been reported among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began.

The data dashboard did not yet list two of the six deaths at Henry Mayo last week, or the three new deaths reported Monday, so SCV COVID fatalities now total 94.

Of the 94 SCV residents who have died, 74 lived in Santa Clarita, 5 in Castaic, 3 in Acton, 3 in Stevenson Ranch, 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, 2 in unincorporated Canyon Country, 1 in Val Verde, and 5 in communities not yet named.

Of the 12,337 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:

City of Santa Clarita: 8,307

Castaic: 2,586 (includes Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)

Stevenson Ranch: 424

Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 354

Val Verde: 139

Acton: 177

Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 78

Agua Dulce: 83

Saugus (unincorporated portion): 58

Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 43

Elizabeth Lake: 24

Saugus/Canyon Country: 18

Bouquet Canyon: 16

Lake Hughes: 17

Sand Canyon: 7

San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 4

*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.

More L.A. County Demographics: Age

Of the 48 new deaths reported today, 15 people who died were over the age of 80 years old, 17 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 12 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, three people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 29 years old.

covid-19 roundup monday december 14
Forty people who died had underlying health conditions including 13 people over the age of 80 years old, 13 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 11 people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, two people between the ages of 30 and 49 years old, and one person between the ages of 18 and 29 years old.

Ninety-three percent of the people who have died from COVID-19 to date had underlying health conditions. Hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes are the most common underlying health conditions among people hospitalized with COVID-19. Many people have multiple underlying health conditions.

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 9553

* 5 to 11 21702

* 12 to 17 26820

* 18 to 29 125870

* 30 to 49 173111

* 50 to 64 95430

* 65 to 79 36776

* over 80 14614

* Under Investigation 3135

More L.A. County Demographics: Race/Ethnicity

Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 7,746 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 52 percent of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 23 percent among White residents, 14 percent among Asian residents, 9 percent among African American/Black residents, less than 1 percent among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1 percent among residents identifying with other races.

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.

covid-19 roundup monday december 14

California Regional Stay Home Order

The Regional Stay Home Order announced December 3 and a supplemental order signed December 6 will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. the day after a region has been announced to have less than 15 percent ICU availability.

The supplemental order clarifies retail operations and goes into effect immediately. They prohibit private gatherings of any size, close sector operations except for critical infrastructure and retail, and require 100% masking and physical distancing in all others.

Once triggered, these orders will remain in effect for at least 3 weeks. After that period, they will be lifted when a region’s projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15 percent. This will be assessed on a weekly basis after the initial three-week period.

Based on ICU data, three regions — San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, and Greater Sacramento — remain under the Regional Stay at Home Order. as of Monday, December 14.

San Joaquin Valley and Southern California will be eligible to exit from the order and return to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy on December 28 if ICU capacity projections for the following month are above or equal to 15%. Greater Sacramento may exit on January 1 if it achieves the same capacity projections.

The state continues to support hospital systems and congregate care facilities across the state during 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.

Read the full Regional Stay Home Order and Supplement to the Order.

covid-19 roundup monday dec 14

California Blueprint for a Safer Economy

Governor Gavin 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.

California Testing
More than 85 community testing sites offer free, confidential testing: Find a COVID-19 Testing Site.

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 November 29 to December 5, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.4 days. During this same time period, 58 percent of patients received test results in 1 day and 87 percent received them within 2 days. The testing turnaround time dashboard (PDF) is updated weekly.

All four tiers in the Testing Prioritization Guidance originally dated July 14, 2020, will have equal priority for testing.

California Demographics

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.

More information is available at COVID-19 Race and Ethnicity Data.

covid 19 roundup monday dec 14

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 7, 145 cases of MIS-C have been reported statewide. To protect patient confidentiality in counties with fewer than 11 cases, CDPH 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 is critical to preventing long-term complications.

covid-19 roundup monday dec 14

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.

* Following the limited Stay at Home Order that requires all non-essential work and activities to stop between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. in counties in the purple tier. The order took effect at 10 p.m. Saturday, November 21, and will remain in effect until 5 a.m. December 21.

* Staying close to home, avoiding non-essential travel, and practicing self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival if you leave the state.

* Keeping gatherings small, short, and outdoors and limiting them to those who live in your household.

* 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, find out where they may have been, and who they were in close contact with while infectious.

covid-19 roundup monday december 14

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.

* The Statewide COVID-19 Dashboard

* The California COVID-19 Assessment Tool (CalCAT)

* State Cases and Deaths Associated with COVID-19 by Age Group

* COVID-19 Race & Ethnicity Data

* COVID-19 Hospital Data and Case Statistics

* View additional datasets at the California Open Data Portal (including Testing Data, PPE Logistics Data, Hospital Data, Homeless Impact and more)

Consolidated guidance is available on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance webpage.

* * * * *

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19):

* Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

* California Department of Public Health

* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

* Spanish

* World Health Organization

* Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard

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

* * * * *

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