The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 102 new deaths, including 3 additional deaths at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and 14,418 new cases of COVID-19, including 13,090 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
To date, Public Health identified 580,325 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 8,664 deaths.
There are 4,864 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 20% of these people are in the ICU. In the last two days the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has increased by more than 450 people.
According to the State, the Southern California Region has 0% ICU capacity remaining.
California Thursday Snapshot
Statewide, the California Department of Public Health confirmed a total of 1,723,362 confirmed, with 21,860 deaths from the disease. There are 15,431 confirmed hospitalizations and 3,280 ICU hospitalizations in California.
Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
There were 52,281 newly recorded confirmed cases Wednesday. Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results include cases from prior to yesterday. Today’s numbers are slightly higher due to the implementation of an auto-processing feature to track report the large volume of COVID-19 cases. In collaboration with counties, on December 13, the state began automatically processing positive cases reported by laboratories and these cases are reflected in our public reporting.
Typically, local public health departments receive cases into an inbox and manually process those cases, however, with high transmission rates, this has become increasingly difficult. The auto processing feature ensures that local public health officials can quickly determine when cases occurred, which gives us all a better sense of COVID-19’s trajectory.
The 7-day positivity rate is 12.8% and the 14-day positivity rate is 11.5%.
There have been 28,456,358 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 306,768 over the prior 24-hour reporting period.
As case numbers continue to rise in California, the total number of individuals who will have serious outcomes will also increase.
Health Care Worker Infection Rates
As of Dec. 16, local health departments have reported 61,435 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 237 deaths statewide.
Santa Clarita Valley Thursday Update
As of 5:30 p.m. Thursday, the L.A. County Public Health dashboard, is reporting 93 deaths among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began. Note: The dashboard had not yet recorded the most recent deaths from Henry Mayo, which would bring the SCV tally to 99.
Of the 99 SCV residents who have died, 78 lived in Santa Clarita, 5 in Castaic, 3 in Acton, 3 in Stevenson Ranch, 2 in unincorporated Canyon Country, 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, 1 in Val Verde, and 6 in communities not yet named.
Of the 13,090 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
City of Santa Clarita: 8,893
Castaic: 2,657 (includes Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)
Stevenson Ranch: 453
Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 376
Val Verde: 144
Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 82
Agua Dulce: 91
Saugus (unincorporated portion): 60
Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 50
Elizabeth Lake: 26
Lake Hughes: 18
Saugus/Canyon Country: 18
Bouquet Canyon: 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.
Henry Mayo Thursday Update
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported 3 additional deaths from COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the total to 55, hospital spokesman Patrick Moody said.
As of Thursday, of the 14,044 people tested at Henry Mayo to date, 1,907 tested positive, 16,911 were negative, 1 was pending, 85 patients were hospitalized in a dedicated unit receiving ICU-level care and a total of 528 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 statistics weekly, usually on Wednesdays, unless a new death occurs.
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.
A second COVID-19 vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, was endorsed today by the FDA’s Advisory Committee, and based on the publicly released findings of the vaccine trial, Public Health is hopeful the vaccine will receive Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) very soon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices will meet this weekend to discuss the recommended use of the Moderna vaccine and will also vote on additional priority populations to receive it.
Currently, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been received by all nine pre-designated sites in L.A County and this initial allocation is being used by acute care hospitals to vaccinate health care personnel. Healthcare workers are prioritized for vaccination based on their job duties and associated risks of exposure to COVID-19 as well as risks of severe disease. A second allotment of Pfizer vaccine is anticipated to arrive next week and will be used to vaccinate additional healthcare workers at acute care hospitals. If the Moderna vaccine receives EUA, doses of this vaccine should arrive in L.A. County next week as well. These doses will be used to vaccinate residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities and frontline EMS responders.
Public Health will host the L.A County COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall tonight from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30pm. Join the town hall to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, how it was developed, where it will be distributed in communities, and when it will be made available to the general public. The town hall will be streamed live on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube @lapublichealth. For more information and to submit a question, visit: http://tinyurl.com/askcovidtownhall.
Of the 102 new deaths reported today, 43 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, 18 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and 11 people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Seventy-two people who died had underlying health conditions including 33 people over the age of 80 years old, 19 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 13 people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and seven people between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Four deaths were reported by the city of Long Beach.
“We send our deepest condolences to the many people grieving the loss of a family member or friend who passed away due to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “There is an increasingly bright light at the end of this pandemic for us as a second vaccine gets closer to emergency use authorization. However, we are months away from having enough vaccine widely available in L.A. County. Until then, we need to make choices in our daily lives to protect ourselves and others. The devastation we are experiencing now is in part because many people ignored warnings and made the decision to travel or visit with people from outside of their home over the Thanksgiving holidays. We are now learning a very painful lesson that, despite how much we want things to go back to normal, this virus is relentless and will continue to spread, make people very ill, and tragically lead to people passing away. We can’t afford another holiday season surge that will further overwhelm our already strained hospitals and healthcare staff. We must all work together to prevent as much death as possible.”
Right now, the most important action for everyone to take to stop the surge is to stay home as much as possible and not mingle with others not in your household. 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 that are older should remain in their home and not be around others unless seeking routine or essential health and dental care.
If you have symptoms or concerns you were exposed, get tested for COVID-19 and isolate immediately from your family and others if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. If you are having difficulty breathing, go to an emergency room or call 911. 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.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced Thursday the most recent statistics on COVID-19, including data on intensive care unit (ICU) capacity across the state. Based on ICU data, the Bay Area will enter the Regional Stay at Home Order Thursday, Dec. 17, at 11:59 p.m. Three other regions, San Joaquin Valley, Southern California, and Greater Sacramento are already under the order. More than 50% of the state’s ICU capacity is filled with patients who have COVID-19.
Regional Stay at Home Order
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%.
The dates that regions will be eligible to exit are:
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.
Blueprint for a Safer Economy
Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, a statewide plan for reducing COVID-19 and keeping Californians healthy and safe. The plan 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.
New Testing Turnaround Time Dashboard
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 Nov. 29 – Dec. 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.
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.
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 Dec. 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 is critical to preventing long-term complications.
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: Latinos, African Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are dying at disproportionately higher levels. 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.
Your Actions Save Lives
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 and following local and state public health guidelines when visiting businesses that are open.
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.
With COVID-19 vaccine appointments booked at Los Angeles County sites through the end of the week, Public Health officials assured those who received their first dose are guaranteed their second — but confusion over the scheduling process prompted officials to clarify the situation Tuesday.
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees will hold a video/teleconferencing special meeting via Zoom on Wednesday, Jan. 27, beginning with a closed session at 4:00 p.m., followed immediately by open session at 5:00 p.m.
Five Point Holdings, LLC recently announced the sale of additional homesites at its Valencia community, previously known as Newhall Ranch, and the lineup of homebuilders for the first phase of the community.
As COVID-19 vaccination continues for health care workers and those over 65, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday California is looking to prioritize the next phases of vaccination efforts by age, rather than occupation.
Tejon Ranch Co. declared victory for its 8,000-acre Grapevine mixed-use development after a Kern County Superior Court judge ruled against an Arizona-based environmental group that dubbed the project “damaging.”
California Public Health officials lifted the regional Stay at Home Order statewide on Monday as Los Angeles County Public Health officials confirmed 43 new deaths and 6,642 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 countywide, and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported five new deaths on Saturday and Monday.
Los Angeles County is set to align its health order with California's by the end of the week, as the state lifted its regional stay-at-home order statewide Monday, green-lighting the reopening of in-person outside dining and hair and nail salons, among other businesses.
Officials with the California Department of Public Health on Monday ordered the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted for all regions statewide, including the three regions that had still been under the order – San Joaquin Valley, Bay Area, and Southern California.
As another winter storm hit the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding areas, Interstate 5 was shut down through the Grapevine in "Operation Snowflake" Monday morning, with some lanes reopened by Monday afternoon.
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents about beach water use due to bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas that are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers.
Citing the case of a convicted child rapist, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said Friday she’s concerned there is a growing trend that the rights of victims of some of the most violent crimes are not being protected under District Attorney George Gascón’s administration.
Medical examiners with the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office identified Benjamin Marquez IV, 31, of Castaic, as the man killed in a solo-vehicle crash that left one dead and sent another to the hospital Saturday.
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.