The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Sunday confirmed 1,523 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 new deaths due to the virus countywide, with a total of 2,203 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began, 102 more than reported Saturday.
The high number of cases is due in part to a backlog of test results received from one lab, according to Public Health officials.
In the SCV, 22 people have died of the virus to date — 18 resided in the city of Santa Clarita, 1 in Acton, 1 in Castaic, 1 in unincorporated Valencia and 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon.
Countywide, Public Health has reported 63,844 positive cases of COVID-19 and a total of 2,645 deaths to date. Ninety-three percent of people who died had underlying health conditions.
Statewide, the California Department of Public Health has reported a total of 128,812 confirmed cases and 4,626 deaths from COVID-19 as of June 6. Currently, there are 3,138 confirmed hospitalizations and 1,068 ICU hospitalizations.
As of June 6, local health departments have reported 11,062 confirmed positive cases in healthcare workers and 65 deaths statewide.
Santa Clarita Valley Sunday Update
Of the 2,203 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
City of Santa Clarita: 835
Castaic: 1,226 (includes Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)
Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 36
Stevenson Ranch: 36
Val Verde: 28
Agua Dulce: 10
Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 9
Saugus (unincorporated portion): 4
Elizabeth Lake: 3
Bouquet Canyon: 1
Lake Hughes: 1
Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 1
*Note: The county is not able to break out separate numbers for Castaic and the PDC/NCCF because the county uses geotagging software that is not easy to change, according to county spokesperson Stephanie English.
Henry Mayo Sunday Update
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 11th COVID-related death on Wednesday, June 3, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody.
Eleven of the SCV’s 22 fatalities to date have occurred at Henry Mayo.
As of Wednesday, of the 1,824 persons tested at Henry Mayo to date, 227 tested positive, 1,810 were negative, 17 were pending and 8 patients were hospitalized in a dedicated unit receiving ICU-level care. A total of 84 COVID-19 patients have been discharged so far.
Discrepancies in the testing numbers are due to some patients being tested more than once, he said.
The hospital is now releasing numbers on a weekly basis (Wednesdays), unless there is a drastic change in the number of cases or a death has been confirmed, Moody said.
L.A. County Demographics
Fifteen people who died were over the age of 65 years old; five people who died were between the ages of 41 and 65 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. Eighteen people had underlying health conditions including 14 people over the age of 65 years old, three people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. Four deaths were reported by the city of Long Beach.
Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 2,453 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health) 41% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 28% among White residents, 18% among Asian residents, 12% among African American residents, 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and residents identifying with other races.
Upon further investigation, 17 cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
Public Health continues to track disproportionality in health outcomes by race, ethnicity and income level data of people who have been tested, hospitalized and died from COVID-19.
African Americans, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, and people living in communities with high levels of poverty continue to have the highest rate of death per 100,000 people for COVID-19 when compared to other groups.
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders have a death rate of 30 per 100,000, African Americans have a death of 31 per 100,000, Latinos/Latinxs have a death of 29 per 100,000, Asians have a death rate of 21 per 100,000, and Whites have a death rate of 15 per 100,000.
People who live in areas with high rates of poverty have almost four times the rate of deaths for COVID-19 with 51 per 100,000 people, compared with communities with very low poverty levels who had a death rate of 13 per 100,000.
Public Health continues collaboration with community, healthcare, and philanthropic partners to improve testing, connection to care and services, and in-language and culturally appropriate communications to the communities experiencing these inequitable outcomes.
“Our community is feeling the sadness and loss of so many who have passed away from COVID-19. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of those who have passed away. We are so sorry for your loss,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health.
“If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, it’s important to know that, because of the long incubation period of the virus, getting tested immediately after exposure is likely to yield a negative result and does not mean you are not infected with COVID-19,” Ferrer said.
“It is important to please stay away from others for 14 days after possible exposure. We all need to continue to be diligent about physical distancing and wearing cloth face coverings when out and around others,” she said. “These actions are respectful and save lives.”
L.A. County Testing
As of today, 6,911 people who tested positive for COVID-19 (11% of positive cases) have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. There are 1,451 people who are currently hospitalized, 30% of these people are in the ICU and 21% are on ventilators. Testing capacity continues to increase in LA County, with testing results available for nearly 696,000 individuals and 8% of people testing positive.
COVID-19 testing is prioritized for hospitalized patients, healthcare workers, and first responders with symptoms, as well as residents and employees, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, in long-term care facilities or other congregate living settings where there are outbreaks.
Additionally, Public Health recommends testing for anyone who is older or has underlying health conditions with symptoms, as well as people who have been close contacts of people who are positive for COVID-19. Anyone with symptoms should consider testing as well.
Testing negative for COVID-19 right after being exposed does not mean you can’t become infected later during the incubation period. Individuals who are tested too soon after being exposed, are less likely to test positive because their viral load may be undetectable to the test.
If anyone was possibly exposed to someone with COVID-19, and the test result is negative, they should remain at home for 14 days to prevent spreading illness to others. For more information on how to get tested, visit covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the risk of widespread transmission, everyone should always wear a face covering securely over their nose and mouth and keep six feet apart from others not in your household when out and about.
Businesses that are allowed to reopen must continue to implement their physical distancing and infection control protocols that protect both employees and customers.
If you have been in a crowded setting, where people are congregating who are not using face coverings or distancing, please also consider the following:
* If you live with persons who are elderly or have high-risk conditions, you should also maintain a six-foot distance and wear a face covering when you are with them at home, avoid preparing food for others, sharing utensils, bedding and towels, and increase cleaning and disinfecting of common surfaces.
Please remember that if you are tested soon after exposure, this may not indicate if this exposure will result in you becoming positive for the virus. Testing negative for COVID-19 right after you’ve been exposed does not mean you can’t become infected later during the incubation period, so please stay away from others for 14 days after possible exposure.
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 and wear a clean face covering when in contact with others from outside your household.
People who have underlying health conditions remain at much greater risk for serious illness from COVID-19, so it will continue to be very important for the county’s vulnerable residents to stay at home as much as possible, to have groceries and medicine delivered, and to call their providers immediately if they have even mild symptoms.
The L.A. County Safer at Work and in the Community Health Officer Order, 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.
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 about double their population representation across all adult age categories.
For Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, overall numbers are low, but there is nearly a four-fold difference 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.
Testing in California
As testing capacity continues to increase across the state, the California Department of Public Health is working to expand access to COVID-19 testing. Testing should be used for medical evaluation of persons with symptoms of COVID-19 as well as for efforts by public health agencies and essential employers to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.
As of June 6, there have been 2,362,218 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 53,918 tests over the prior 24-hour reporting period.
These numbers include data from commercial, private and academic labs, including Quest, LabCorp, Kaiser, University of California and Stanford, and the the 25 state and county health labs currently testing.
New Data Portal
The state has launched a new, user-friendly data portal at COVID-19 Statewide Update that tracks COVID-19 cases statewide and by county, gender, age and ethnicity. The portal also outlines statewide hospitalizations and testing efforts. The data presented on the portal will be updated daily and will include additional information as it is available.
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.
The Sand Canyon Resort project is scheduled to return before Santa Clarita Planning Commissions Tuesday with a series of revisions, following multiple concerns raised by both commissioners and residents.
The Valley Industry Association will welcome College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook as the keynote speaker for the March VIA Virtual Series taking place Tuesday, March 16, from 11:00 a.m to 12:15 p.m.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles announced a new round of extensions for commercial driver’s licenses expiring through May 31 that will help commercial drivers focus on delivering essential products and supplies during the COVID-19 emergency.
The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) announced Thursday the upcoming launch of the Los Angeles Online Dispute Resolution (LA-ODR) program, in collaboration with the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County and its Dispute Resolution Program (DRP), and the Center for Conflict Resolution.
Santa Clarita City Council members declined Tuesday to administer $6.8 million in state rental assistance funds for eligible residents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and let the state handle those dollars but approved creating a program for them with $6.3 million from the federal government.