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January 26
1990 - "Duplicates" premieres at L.A. Phil; concerto by CalArts Music School dean Mel Powell wins Pulitzer Prize [story]
Mel Powell


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed 56 new deaths and 11,271 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported two new deaths.

According to the latest Public Health data, the Santa Clarita Valley has now tallied 14,142 confirmed COVID-19 cases among residents – 798 more new cases since Friday – and 103 deaths, including the two reported by Henry Mayo on Monday afternoon.

To date, Public Health identified 634,849 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 8,931 deaths.

Since the beginning of the surge in November, new cases have increased by a staggering 862%. For the past three weeks, L.A. County’s daily average number of new cases has tripled from 4,000 to more than 14,000.

Since November 9, average daily deaths have increased from 12 average deaths per day to 84 average deaths per day last week.

Public Health again confirms the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in a day with 5,709 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, 21% of them in the ICU. Since November 9, the average daily hospitalizations of people with COVID-19 has increased more than 650%.

“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.

covid-19 roundup monday dec 21 2020

Winter Holiday Could Bring Surge on Top of Surge on Top of Surge

Public Health warns that without a change in how we celebrate the winter holidays, Los Angeles County will experience a surge on top of a surge on top of a surge. Hospitals are already over capacity and the high-quality medical care we are accustomed to in L.A. County is beginning to be compromised as our frontline healthcare workers are beyond stretched to the limit.

Healthcare Workers Suffering COVID Surge

L.A. County continues to experience a surge in cases among healthcare workers. This past week, 2,191 healthcare workers tested positive for COVID-19. In the last three weeks, there have been more than 5,500 new cases among healthcare workers. In early November there were 40 new cases of COVID-19 among healthcare workers per day; last week there were 313 new cases.

The significant increases in cases among our healthcare system is happening at the very time we need our healthcare workers healthy and available to treat the thousands of new COVID-19 patients, and all the other urgent cases that enter our hospitals.

As case numbers continue to surge, the total number of individuals who will become seriously ill or die will also increase.

“The only path forward right now that has a chance at stopping the surge is to stay home as much as possible and to enjoy the holidays with just our immediate household,” Ferrer said. “This means no extended in-person family gatherings. The risks of doing so are just too dangerous.

“Another spike in cases from the winter holidays will be disastrous for our hospital system and, ultimately, will mean many more people simply won’t be with us in 2021,” she said.

“While we are so encouraged that vaccines have arrived and our frontline healthcare workers are beginning to receive vaccinations, it will take many months to immunize the entire population of L.A. County,” Ferrer said.

“Your actions this week and beyond will determine whether we get through the next two months without continuing to experience horrifying increases in hospitalizations and deaths,” she said. “When you must go out for work, to exercise, or for essential services, put on a face covering before you open the door and walk outside. Please always keep your mask on. Please avoid crowded spaces and stay at least 6 feet away from people you do not live with at all times. And keep using hand sanitizer and washing your hands.”

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

covid-19 roundup california cases monday dec 21 2020

California Monday Snapshot

Statewide, as of Sunday, December 20, the California Department of Public Health confirmed a total of 1,892,348 COVID-19 cases (up 37,892), with 22,676 deaths from the disease (up 83) since the pandemic began.

There are 17,190 confirmed hospitalizations and 3,644 ICU hospitalizations in the state, continuing a sharp upward trend.

The 7-day positivity rate is 13.3% and the 14-day positivity rate is 12.0%, also continuing a sharp upward trend.

As of December 20, local health departments have reported 64,019 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 242 deaths statewide.

There have been 29,860,404 tests conducted in California, an increase of 395,234 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.

“110,300 of the Moderna #COVID19 vaccine arrived today in CA,” Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted Monday afternoon. “CA is expecting 672,600 doses to arrive throughout the week. While we wait for mass distribution in the coming months—we have to take this disease seriously. Please continue to be safe, stay home, and wear a mask.”

In his Monday news update, Newsom indicated the current Stay-at-Home order for Southern California may be extended if the surge continues. He also indicated he was self-quarantining again, this time for 10 days, due to possible exposure to the virus.

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, December 21, 2020.

Worldwide Deaths Reach 1.7 Million People; U.S. Deaths Near 320,000

Worldwide, 77,202,828 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 1,699,307people have died of the virus as of 12:22 p.m. Monday Pacific Time, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

In the U.S., more than 17,947,644 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 318,602.

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 186,764, and No. 3 in cases with 7,238,600. India (population 1.353 billion) is No. 2 in cases, with 10,055,560 confirmed cases and 145,810 deaths as of Monday afternoon.

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Monday Update

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 58th and 59th COVID-caused deaths on Monday, spokesman Patrick Moody said.

In the month of November, 8 COVID-19 patients died at Henry Mayo. In December, as of today, with 10 days left in the month, 23 people have died at the hospital, an average of more than one death per day.

As of Monday, of the 14,407 people tested for COVID-19 at Henry Mayo to date, 2,059 tested positive, 17,275 were negative, 2 were pending, 84 patients were hospitalized in a dedicated unit receiving ICU-level care (an increase of five since Friday), and a total of 563 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.

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

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 roundup monday dec 20

Santa Clarita Valley Monday Update

As of 8 p.m. Saturday, December 19, the latest update to the L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 data dashboard, 101 deaths had been reported among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began, not including the two deaths reported Monday afternoon by Henry Mayo.

Of the 103 SCV residents who have died, 84 lived in Santa Clarita, 5 in Castaic, 5 in Stevenson Ranch, 3 in Acton, 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, 2 in unincorporated Canyon Country, and 1 in Val Verde, according to the data dashboard, plus 2 deaths in communities not yet named.

Of the 14,142 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:

City of Santa Clarita: 9,733

Castaic: 2,717 (includes Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)

Stevenson Ranch: 501

Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 407

Acton: 216

Val Verde: 153

Agua Dulce: 105

Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 93

Saugus (unincorporated portion): 64

Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 51

Elizabeth Lake: 30

Saugus/Canyon Country: 21

Bouquet Canyon: 21

Lake Hughes: 18

Sand Canyon: 8

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.

L.A. County Vaccine Update: Who Gets it When

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine recently received emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent COVID-19 severe illness and shipments began going out on Sunday. In addition to the Pfizer vaccine, this is the second COVID-19 vaccine that is allowed to be distributed throughout the country.

Public Health anticipates receiving 116,600 doses of the Moderna vaccine in this first shipment later this week.
These vaccines will be used to protect workers and residents at 338 skilled nursing facilities in L.A. County.

covid-19 roundup monday dec 21 2020

Estimates indicate that 70,000 healthcare workers and residents in these facilities will be offered the Moderna vaccine. The vaccine also will go to L.A. County EMTs and paramedics on the frontlines of the pandemic. Public Health anticipates nearly 16,000 EMTs and paramedics will be receiving the Moderna vaccine in this first round.

Additionally, Moderna vaccine doses will be used to inoculate an additional 300 healthcare worker teams serving as vaccinators and recorders.

Last week, L.A. County received its first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine. This shipment represented 82,873 doses that have been distributed to 83 acute care hospitals throughout the county. A second allotment of 48,750 Pfizer vaccine is anticipated to arrive this week and will continue to be used to vaccinate healthcare workers at acute care hospitals.

Initial efforts are aimed at vaccinating everyone in Phase 1A, Tier 1; these are our frontline healthcare workers and residents in long-term care facilities. Looking ahead, once we are done with vaccinating all groups in Tier 1, we will move to Tier 2 and Tier 3.

In Phase 1A, Tier 2, this group includes healthcare workers in immediate care facilities and home healthcare service, community health workers, public health field staff, and healthcare workers in primary care clinics, correctional facility clinics, and urgent care clinics.

In Phase 1A, Tier 3, this group includes healthcare workers in specialty clinics, laboratory workers, dental and other oral health clinics, and pharmacy staff who are not within the higher-tier settings.

As we begin with the first set of vaccinations for all the Tiers within Phase 1A, we can begin to look at categories of individuals to receive vaccinations under Phase 1B and 1C. These are Phases adopted by the CDC to assist prioritization while there is a limited supply of the vaccine and we’re following their guidance.

Persons within Tier 1B are considered persons 75 years and older and frontline essential workers. These include firefighters, police officers and sheriff’s deputies, teachers and school staff, manufacturing workers, corrections workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, public transit and grocery store workers. A complete list will be published online.

Persons within Tier 1C are those who are 65 years or older and individuals 16 years and older with significant underlying health conditions that could create a serious health risk. This also includes additional essential workers not included in Tier 1B.

For more information about the county’s vaccination plans, visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

More L.A. County Demographics: Age

Of the 56 new deaths reported today, 15 people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, 26 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 10 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, four 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 friday december 18

Forty-six people who died had underlying health conditions including 11 people over the age of 80 years old, 23 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, eight people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, three people between the ages of 30 and 49 years old, and one person between the ages of 18 and 29 years old.

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: 11610

* 5 to 11: 26861

* 12 to 17: 33050

* 18 to 29: 148575

* 30 to 49: 205699

* 50 to 64: 113818

* 65 to 79: 43785

* over 80: 16788

* Under Investigation 3995

covid-19 roundup monday dec 28 2020

More L.A. County Demographics: Race/Ethnicity

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, the gaps between race and ethnicity groups that the county made progress closing in September continue to widen, particularly for Latino/Latinx residents compared to other groups, though all groups are experiencing increases.

Latino/Latinx residents are now seeing a 7-day cumulative rate of nearly 650 new cases per 100,000 people. This is more than two times that of African American/Black residents, the group with the second-highest case rate of about 270 new cases per 100,000 people, and almost three times the rate experienced by white residents (250 new cases per 100,000 people) and Asian residents (172 new cases per 100,000 people).

Latino/Latinx, African American/Black, and Asian residents are also experiencing an alarming increase in deaths. The death rate among Latino/Latinx residents has increased from 1.5 deaths per 100,000 people to 4.5 deaths per 100,000 people. The death rate for African American/Black residents has increased from less than 1 death per 100,000 people to 3 deaths per 100,000 people. The death rate among Asian residents has increased from 0.5 deaths per 100,000 people to 3 deaths per 100,000 people.

Public Health continues to see a high mortality rate among people living in areas with the highest levels of poverty, with four times the death rate compared to people living in the lowest levels of poverty.

Throughout the pandemic, the life and death consequences of racism and poverty have played out in devastating ways and they continue to do so. The widening gaps are a stark reminder that many of our essential workers are Black and brown, and many are not able to telework or stay home; many work at jobs with low wages, and live in under-resourced neighborhoods.

During the surge, all our essential workers are taking on increased risks at their jobs because community transmission rates are high. The only way to reduce their risk is for every business to fully implement the safety modifications required by the Health Officer Order; this includes providing appropriate PPE and infection control. Violations at workplaces can be reported anonymously at 888-700-9995.

Every resident needs to protect our essential workers by playing by rules. This means always wear a face covering and keep distance from others, no crowding, frequent handwashing, and limiting all non-essential activities.

Test Positive? Isolate, Contact Trace

It is important to isolate if you tested positive for COVID-19 for 10 days and to self-quarantine for 10 days if you have come in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. L.A. County has capacity to support isolation and quarantine for those who are positive and those who are close contacts.

If you are positive for COVID-19 and need help figuring out how to best stay away from others for the 10 days, please answer the call when Public Health contacts you or call Public Health at 833-540-0473.

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 dec 21 2020

Vaccinate All 58
The COVID-19 shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine has arrived in California, and additional shipments will continue to arrive throughout this week. The first doses 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.

For more information, visit the CDPH COVID-19 Vaccine webpage and Vaccinate All 58.

California Regional Stay Home Order

The Regional Stay Home Order announced December 3 and a supplemental order signed December 6 went into effect at 11:59 p.m. the day after a region had 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, four regions, San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, Greater Sacramento and the Bay Area are under the Regional Stay at Home Order as of Monday, Dec. 21.
Current available ICU capacity by region:

* Bay Area: 13.7%

* Greater Sacramento Region: 16.2%

* Northern California: 28.7%

* San Joaquin Valley: 0.0%

* Southern California: 0.0%

covid-19 roundup monday december 21

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 and the Bay Area on January 8 if both achieve the same 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.

Read the full Regional Stay Home Order and Supplement to the Order, and Frequently Asked Questions.

covid-19 roundup monday december 21

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 December 6 to December 12, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.8 days. During this same time period, 46% of patients received test results in one day and 75% 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.

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.

coronavirus covid-19 roundup friday dec 18 2020

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 14, 152 cases of MIS-C have been reported statewide. 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.

covid-19 roundup monday december 21

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 21

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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