On the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of a global COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Thursday confirmed 101 new deaths and 1,378 new cases of COVID-19 countywide.
As cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to decrease, L.A. County and California Public Health officials are preparing for additional re-openings in the next several days, as milestones are met.
Since the pandemic began, the Santa Clarita Valley has tallied 26,722 COVID-19 cases — 66 more than Wednesday — and 276 fatalities, according to L.A. County Public Health data.
To date, officials identified 1,208,024 positive cases of COVID-19 countywide and a total of 22,304 deaths.
“To the families and friends mourning the loss of a loved one to COVID-19, we wish you healing and peace,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of L.A. County Public Health.
There are 1,056 L.A. County residents currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and 30% of them are in the ICU.
Test results are available for nearly 5,927,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive. Thursday’s daily test positivity rate is 2.1%, a slight increase.
County Moving Toward the Red Tier
Sometime between Monday, March 15 at 12:01 a.m. and Wednesday, March 17, Public Health anticipates qualifying for the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy‘s less restrictive red tier that allows for additional re-openings.
The exact date depends on when two million doses have been administered to people in the most under-resourced communities across the state.
A move into the red tier “allows for more re-openings and permitted activities in L.A. County,” Ferrer said.
“This milestone is the result of businesses and individuals working together and doing their part to prevent COVID-19 from spreading,” she said. “It will be up to everyone, businesses and residents, to continue driving down transmission and to follow safety directives closely to keep everyone as safe as possible by preventing increases in cases. When even relatively small numbers of businesses and individuals fail to adhere to the safety precautions, many others experience tragic consequences.”
See more SCV and L.A. County info and a vaccine update later in this report.
California Thursday Snapshot
The California Department of Public Health also Thursday updated public health guidance in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy on Thursday to allow for additional safe and sustainable reopening activities of bars, breweries, wineries, distilleries, and overnight sleepaway camps.
Statewide, as of Wednesday, March 10, California Department of Public Health officials confirmed 3,516,862 COVID-19 cases (up 3,184) with 54,891 deaths from the disease (up 270) since the pandemic began.
There are 3,477 confirmed hospitalizations and 961 ICU hospitalizations in the state, on a downward trend.
As of Wednesday, local health departments have reported 98,306 confirmed positive cases in healthcare workers and 409 deaths statewide, continuing to rise.
There have been 50,316,151 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 92,180 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.
The 7-day positivity rate is 2.4% and the 14-day positivity rate is 2.3%, a slight increase.
Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results may include cases from prior to yesterday.
As of March 11, providers have reported administering a total of 10,988,301 vaccine doses statewide.
The CDC reports that 15,066,380 doses have been delivered to entities within the state, and 15,426,105 vaccine doses, which includes the first and second dose, have been shipped. Numbers do not represent true day-to-day change as reporting may be delayed.
See more California information later in this report.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Thursday Update
No cases are pending, five patients are hospitalized in a dedicated COVID-19 unit receiving ICU-level care, and a total of 1,172 patients have been treated and discharged, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital spokesman Patrick Moody said Thursday.
Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo peaked on January 8, at 104 people.
The number of people who died at the hospital since the pandemic began remains at 145; the most recent death was reported Monday. According to Moody, 74 of the fatalities occurred in 2020, while 71 people have died so far this year.
Henry Mayo releases complete statistics weekly, usually on Wednesdays, unless one or more new deaths occur.
Privacy laws prohibit Henry Mayo from releasing the community of residence for patients who die at the hospital; residence info is reported by the L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 dashboard, which generally lags 48 hours behind.
Santa Clarita Valley Thursday Update
As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, the latest update of the L.A. County Public Health dashboard counted 276 deaths among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began.
Of the 276 SCV residents who have died, 237 lived in Santa Clarita, 17 in Castaic, seven in Acton, three in Agua Dulce, three in unincorporated Canyon Country, three in Stevenson Ranch, one in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, one in Lake Hughes, one in Newhall, one in unincorporated Saugus/Canyon Country, one in Val Verde, and one in Valencia.
Of the 26,722 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
* City of Santa Clarita: 19,548
* Castaic: 3,634 (incl. Pitchess Detention Center & North County Correctional Facility*)
* Stevenson Ranch: 1,086
* Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 805
* Acton: 456
* Val Verde: 320
* Agua Dulce: 259
* Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 184
* Saugus (unincorporated portion): 132
* Elizabeth Lake: 75
* Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 66
* Bouquet Canyon: 45
* Lake Hughes: 40
* Saugus/Canyon Country: 39
* Sand Canyon: 17
* San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 15
* Placerita Canyon: 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.
L.A. County Preps for Less Restrictive Red Tier
L.A. County is principally aligned with the state’s reopening framework for the red tier, with mandatory masking, distancing and infection control practices for every business and permitted activity. Additional safety modifications are required or recommended for certain sectors.
Newly permitted activities and modified safety protocols in the red tier will include the following:
* Museum, zoos, and aquariums can open indoors at 25% capacity.
* Gyms, fitness centers, yoga, and dance studios can open indoors at 10% capacity with masking requirements for all indoor activities.
* Movie theatres can open indoors at 25% capacity with reserved seating only where each group is seated with at least 6 feet of distance in all directions between any other groups.
* Retail and personal care services can increase capacity to 50% with masking required at all times and for all services.
* Restaurants can open indoors at 25% max capacity under the following conditions: 8 feet distancing between tables; one household per table with a limit of 6 people; the HVAC system is in good working order and has been evaluated, and to the maximum extent possible ventilation has been increased.
Public Health strongly recommends that all restaurant employees interacting with customers indoors are provided with additional masking protection (above the currently required face shield over face masks); this can be fit tested N95 masks, KN95 masks, or double masks and a face shield.
In addition, Public Health strongly recommends that all employees working indoors are informed about and offered opportunities to be vaccinated. Outdoor dining can accommodate up to six people per table from 3 different households.
* Indoor shopping malls can increase capacity to 50% with common areas remaining closed; food courts can open at 25% capacity adhering to the restaurant guidance for indoor dining.
* Institutes of higher education can re-open all permitted activities with required safety modifications except for residential housing which remains under current restrictions for the Spring semester.
* Schools are permitted to re-open for in-person instruction for students in grades 7-12 adhering to all state and county directives.
* Private gatherings can occur indoors with up to three separate households, with masking and distancing required at all times. People who are fully vaccinated can gather in small numbers indoors with other people who are fully vaccinated without required masking and distancing.
Reported Workplace Outbreaks Decline
Public Health continues to track outbreaks at worksites and continues to assist sectors with required business protocol compliance and safety measures. The number of outbreak investigations continues to decline. There are currently 488 ongoing outbreak investigations; this is a significant reduction from the 1,187 outbreak investigations reported on February 11.
L.A. County Demographics — Cases by Age Group (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena)
* 0 to 4: 22525
* 5 to 11: 54465
* 12 to 17: 68307
* 18 to 29: 270449
* 30 to 49: 380928
* 50 to 64: 221443
* 65 to 79: 88384
* over 80: 32129
* Under Investigation 6807
L.A. County Demographics — Deaths
Of the 101 new deaths reported today, 27 people that passed away were over the age of 80, 47 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, 21 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, and three people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach and two deaths were reported by the City of Pasadena.
L.A. County Vaccine Update
At this time, healthcare workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities, people 65 or older, education and childcare workers, food and agriculture workers, emergency service workers, and law enforcement personnel are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Those eligible for the vaccine will continue to be eligible if they’ve not yet been vaccinated.
To date, more than 2,415,000 doses of vaccine have been administered across L.A. County.
Of those vaccinated, more than 814,593 people have received second doses. This includes providers both in the county network and those providers receiving direct vaccine allocations from the state and the federal government.
While COVID-19 vaccine supply remains very limited, Public Health continues to build an extensive network with pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, hospitals, health clinics, and community vaccination sites, including seven large-capacity sites:
* Dodger Stadium (operated by the city of Los Angeles)
For information about vaccine appointments in L.A. County and when your turn is coming up, to sign up for a vaccination newsletter, and much more, visit www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish). Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.
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.
With the Regional Stay at Home Order rescinded statewide as of January 25, all counties are now under the rules and framework of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and color-coded tiers that indicate which activities and businesses are open based on local case rates and test positivity.
Blueprint summary as of March 9:
* 34 counties are currently in the Purple (widespread) Tier (including Los Angeles County)
* 20 counties are currently in the Red (substantial) Tier
* 3 counties are currently in the Orange (moderate) Tier
* 1 county is in the Yellow (minimal) Tier
The state released updates to the state’s reopening framework on Friday, March 5. The updates will allow outdoor ballparks, stadiums, and theme parks to open with significantly reduced capacity, mandatory masking, and other public health precautions. The updates will take effect on April 1.
CDPH updated public health guidance in Governor Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy on Thursday, March 11, to allow for additional safe and sustainable reopening activities in the state.
Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries
Beginning March 13, breweries, wineries, and distilleries that do not serve meals may open outdoors only with modifications in the Purple (widespread) and Red (substantial) tiers.
The modifications include ensuring that patrons have reservations and patrons observe a 90-minute time limit. Service for on-site consumption must end by 8 p.m. (Previously, and through March 12, breweries and distilleries not serving meals were closed in the Purple and Red tiers).
In the Orange (moderate) Tier, indoor operations may begin with 25 percent of maximum capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. In the Yellow (minimal) tier, indoor operations may increase to 50 percent of maximum capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer.
The updated guidance does not apply to breweries, wineries, and distilleries that provide meals. Those establishments should continue to follow the restaurant guidance.
Beginning March 13, bars that do not serve meals remain closed in the Purple (widespread) and Red (substantial) tiers. In the Orange (moderate) tier, bars may begin outdoor operations with modifications. In the Yellow (minimal) tier, bars may begin indoor operations with modifications of 25 percent maximum capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.
Overnight Sleepaway Camps
Beginning June 1, overnight sleepaway camps will be allowed to resume with modifications in the Red, Orange, and Yellow tiers.
More information about these updates, and which activities are allowed in the various tiers, can be found here.
Vaccinate All 58
In order to increase the pace of COVID-19 vaccine distribution to those at greatest risk, the state is prioritizing individuals 65 and older to receive the vaccine as demand subsides among health care workers. This effort will help to reduce hospitalizations and save lives.
To sign up for a notification when you’re eligible for a vaccine, visit myturn.ca.gov.
‘Safe Schools for All’ Plan
Governor Newsom launched the Safe Schools for All Hub as a one-stop-shop for information about safe in-person instruction.
For more information on the transparency, accountability, and assistance measures related to California’s Safe Schools for All plan, visit the hub.
California Public Health has issued an updated travel advisory. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Non-essential travelers from other states or countries are strongly discouraged from entering California and should adhere to the state’s self-quarantine procedures for 10 days.
California Demographics: Health Equity Dashboard
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted existing inequities in health that are the result of structural racism and poverty, and the disproportionate prevalence of underlying conditions such as asthma and heart disease among Latinos and African Americans.
As part of its commitment to reduce health inequities and ensure the best outcomes for all Californians, the state has launched a Health Equity Dashboard on www.covid19.ca.gov/equity/ that tracks California’s health equity measure and data by race and ethnicity, age group, and sexual orientation/gender identity.
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 February 21 to February 27, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.2 days. During this same time period, 78% of patients received test results in one day and 94% 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.
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 March 8, 357 cases of MIS-C have been reported statewide, 26 more than the previous week (down from 29 the week before that). To protect patient confidentiality in counties with fewer than 11 cases, CDPH officials 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.
Protect Yourself and Your Family: Your Actions Save Lives
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.
* Adding your phone to the fight by signing up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.
* Answering the call if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or local health department tries to connect.
* 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 healthcare provider before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.
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.
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 California Community College Athletic Trainers Association has named longtime athletic trainer, and current College of the Canyons associate athletic director, Chad Peters its 2021 Athletic Trainer of the Year.
The Santa Clarita City Council Legislative Committee briefly met Thursday morning to recommend that the City Council oppose four pieces of state legislation that would expand the state’s land-use authority.
In recognition of public safety dispatchers' services, the California Highway Patrol joins other law enforcement agencies to recognize National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week on April 11-17, 2021.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying public health restrictions in place for large events and community gatherings, as well as past participation numbers, the city of Santa Clarita has evaluated several components of the annual Santa Clarita Marathon and is making a necessary change to the event.
College of the Canyons will welcome José Rivera, award-winning playwright and the first Puerto Rican screenwriter to be nominated for an Oscar, to the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Virtual Industry Insight Series on Monday, April 12.
Spectrum Commercial Real Estate advisors Yair Haimoff, SIOR, Randy Cude, and Matt Sreden represented the seller in the sale of a 23,817-square-foot professional office building in a prime Valencia location.
Following stakeholder planning meetings over the course of a year and a public survey period in January, the city of Santa Clarita’s 2021 Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) draft update enters the next phase in the approval and adoption process.
Cassie Gratton knows how to open a Laemmle theater. The general manager of the Newhall Laemmle, which will open its doors with a ribbon-cutting this Friday, also helped to open Laemmle’s Glendale and Claremont locations.
The California Department of Transportation announced that new High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV, or carpool) lanes are open to motorists on Northbound and Southbound Interstate 5 between the Ventura Freeway (State Route 134) interchange in Los Angeles and Magnolia Boulevard in Burbank.