As Los Angeles County announced it will heed Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directive to close bars in the county starting Sunday, public health officials confirmed 2,542 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 new deaths due to the virus countywide, with a total of 3,082 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began.
Public Health reported the first COVID-19-related death of a Val Verde resident, bringing the number of people who have died in the Santa Clarita Valley to 31.
The County Health Officer Order will be amended Sunday to require that all bars, breweries, brew pubs, pubs, wineries and tasting rooms in L.A. County close unless they are offering sit-down dine-in meals. This includes closing bar areas in restaurants.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is guided by science and data and the key metrics monitored are showing concerning trends.
There has been a sharp increase in new cases and hospitalizations. The timing of these increases is in line with the reopening of key sectors, including bars, which are places where people remove their face covering to drink while they may be socializing with people not in their households.
“While it’s disappointing to take a step back on our economic recovery journey, it’s critical that we protect the health of our residents and protect the capacity in our healthcare system,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “I implore that our residents and businesses follow the Public Health directives that will keep us healthy, safe and on the pathway to recovery. Otherwise, we are quickly moving toward overwhelming our healthcare system and seeing even more devastating illness and death.”
The State-mandated closing comes as the Department of Public Health is reporting significant increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and the testing positivity rate.
There are 1,717 people currently hospitalized, higher than the 1,350 to 1,450 daily hospitalizations seen in recent weeks. Testing results are available for over 1,056,000 individuals, with 9% of people testing positive. The cumulative positivity rate has increased from 8% to 9%, and the 7-day average of the daily positivity rate has increased from 5.8% two weeks ago to 8.7% today.
In the SCV, 31 people have died of the virus to date, according to Public Health records — 24 resided in the city of Santa Clarita, 2 in Acton, 2 in Castaic, 1 in unincorporated Valencia, 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon and 1 in Val Verde.
Countywide, Public Health has reported 97,894 positive cases of COVID-19 and a total of 3,305 deaths to date. Ninety-four percent of people who died had underlying health conditions.
Statewide, as of June 27, the California Department of Public Health has confirmed a total of 211,243 cases and 5,905 deaths from COVID-19. Currently, there are 4,577 confirmed hospitalizations and 1,385 ICU hospitalizations. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
California’s positivity rate – a key indicator of community spread – is trending modestly upward in the 14-day average. Hospitalization rates over the long-term are showing a slight uptick in the 14-day average. Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed. There have been 3,955,952 tests conducted in California. As testing capacity continues to increase across the state, an increase in the number of positive cases has been expected – increasing the importance of positivity rates to find signs of community spread.
Health Care Worker Infection Rates
As of June 27, local health departments have reported 14,699 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 86 deaths statewide.
Santa Clarita Valley Sunday Update
Of the 3,082 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
City of Santa Clarita: 1,111
Castaic: 1,781 (includes Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)
Stevenson Ranch: 57
Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 43
Val Verde: 29
Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 13
Agua Dulce: 13
Saugus (unincorporated portion): 5
Elizabeth Lake: 4
Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 3
Bouquet Canyon: 1
Lake Hughes: 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 Sunday Update
Henry Mayo Newhall 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.
As of Wednesday, June 24 (when the most recent numbers were released), of the 2,725 persons tested at Henry Mayo to date, 282 tested positive, 2,766 were negative, 50 were pending and 13 patients were hospitalized in a dedicated unit receiving ICU-level care. A total of 99 COVID-19 patients have been discharged so far.
Discrepancies in the testing numbers are due to some patients being tested multiple times. “Often a single patient is tested more than once,” said hospital spokesman Patrick Moody.
L.A. County Demographics
Fifteen people who died were over the age of 65 years old, four 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. Thirteen people had underlying health conditions including 10 people over the age of 65 years old and three people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old.
Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 3,076 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 43% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 27% among White residents, 17% among Asian residents, 11% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races. Upon further investigation, 19 cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
“Many are experiencing the pain and sadness of losing a loved one to COVID-19. Our deepest sympathies go out to all of you,” Ferrer said. “All of us must take immediate actions to stop spreading COVID-19 in our communities. L.A. County residents should stay home as much as possible, but when they are out and around others, it is very important to practice physical distancing and properly wear a cloth face covering at all times.”
Forty-one percent of cases are now among individuals between the ages of 18 and 40. While cases in this age range typically have low risk for serious illness or death, Public Health is concerned they may unknowingly infect parents, grandparents, and friends and family who have underlying health conditions and who are at greater risk for serious illness and death. Everyone must continue to follow physical distancing and infection control directives and wear a clean cloth face covering that securely covers both your nose and mouth when in contact with other people not in your household.
The 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.
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. Individuals prioritized for testing include:
– Hospitalized patients
– Symptomatic and asymptomatic healthcare workers, first responders, and other social service employees
– Symptomatic individuals age 65 and older or symptomatic individuals of any age with chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 illness
– Individuals who are tested as part of disease control efforts in high-risk settings
– Asymptomatic residents and employees of congregate living facilities when needed to prevent disease transmission
– Symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals in essential occupations such as grocery store and food supply workers, utility workers and public employees
– Other individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19
As of June 27, there have been 3,955,952 tests conducted in California and reported to the California Department of Public Health. This represents an increase of 93,642 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.
Racial Demographics – A More Complete Picture
The California Department of Public Health is committed to health equity and collecting more detailed racial and ethnic data that will provide additional understanding for determining future action. Health outcomes are affected by forces including structural racism, poverty and the disproportionate prevalence of underlying conditions such as asthma and heart disease among Latinos and African American Californians. Only by looking at the full picture can we understand how to ensure the best outcomes for all Californians.
The differences in health outcomes related to COVID-19 are most stark in COVID-19 deaths. We have nearly complete data on race and ethnicity for COVID-19 deaths, and we are seeing the following trends. 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 about three-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. More information is available at COVID-19 Race and Ethnicity Data.
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.
Your Actions Save Lives
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 such 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.
Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:
– Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
– California Department of Public Health
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
– World Health Organization
L.A. County residents can also call 2-1-1.
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.
For more information about what Californians can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California.
California continues to issue guidance on preparing and protecting California from COVID-19. Consolidated guidance is available on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance webpage.