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February 27
1950 - Ex-Mrs. William S. Hart appears in court to challenge will that leaves Hart Park & Mansion to L.A. County [story]
Winifred Westover


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health continues to see significant increases in key indicators, including daily new cases and test positivity rates.

Public Health confirmed Thursday 7 new deaths and 2,533 new cases of COVID-19, including 8,038 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.

To date, Public Health identified 330,450 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 7,221 deaths.

Since last week, L.A. County has experienced over 2,000 new cases nearly every day. On Nov. 3, the average number of daily cases was 1,464, and one month before, on Oct. 3, that number of daily cases reported was 988.

Testing results are available for nearly 3,320,000 individuals with 9% of all people testing positive. The County’s test positivity rate, or the percentage of tests that come back positive, has increased from an average of about 3.6% on October 3 to about 5.9% today. Increasing daily case numbers and increasing test positivity percents are deeply troubling and more evidence of accelerating community transmission.

Public Health reminds everyone that testing does not prevent people from transmitting and acquiring the virus and is not a substitute for distancing from other people outside your household, wearing face coverings over your nose and mouth, hand washing and avoiding crowds.

There are 953 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 28% of these people are in the ICU. On October 3, the average daily number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was 682 patients, the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic.

When we look back at the summer surge in new cases, we are reminded to prepare for an expected increase in hospitalizations and deaths.

On May 28, the County began to experience an increase in cases, which started the steep increase in cases. Twenty-one days later, on June 18, hospitalizations began to increase. Twelve days after that, deaths began to increase. Cases, hospitalizations and deaths all reached their peak within two weeks of each other, from mid to late July. After businesses reclosed in late June through mid-July, cases steadily declined and hit their lowest level on September 10. It took an additional three weeks to see hospitalizations and deaths hit their lowest post-surge levels.

With widespread community transmission, the County’s daily case numbers continue to keep us in the State’s most restrictive purple tier (Tier 1) in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Currently, L.A. County’s adjusted case rate is 7.6 new cases per 100,000 people. This is a slight increase from the 7.5 adjusted case rate reported last week. The County must reduce its daily number of new cases to 7 or fewer new cases per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks in order to move to the next less restrictive Tier 2. The County’s overall test positivity rate is 3.8% which meets the threshold for Tier 3 and the test positivity rate in our lowest-resourced areas slightly decreased from 6.8% to 6.5% which still meets the threshold for Tier 2.

California Thursday Snapshot
Statewide, the California Department of Public Health confirmed a total of 991,609, with 18,108 deaths from the disease. There are 3,300 confirmed hospitalizations and 913 ICU hospitalizations in California.

Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.

There were 6,927 newly recorded confirmed cases Wednesday. Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results include cases from prior to yesterday.

The 7-day positivity rate is 4.4% and the 14-day positivity rate is 3.9%.

There have been 20,342,072 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 119,979 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.

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 Oct. 25 – Oct. 31, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.3 days. During this same time period, 63 percent of patients received test results in 1 day and 88 percent received them within 2 days.The testing turnaround time dashboard (PDF) is updated weekly.

At this time, all four tiers in the Testing Prioritization Guidance originally dated July 14, 2020, will have equal priority for testing.

Health Care Worker Infection Rates
As of Nov. 11, local health departments have reported 46,693 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 210 deaths statewide.

Santa Clarita Valley Thursday Update
As of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the L.A. County Public Health dashboard, remains unchanged from Wednesday. Public Health reported 78 deaths in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began, but was not yet reporting the latest two deaths at Henry Mayo.

Of those 80 SCV residents who have died, 65 lived in Santa Clarita, 4 in Castaic, 3 in Acton, 3 in Stevenson Ranch, 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, 1 in Val Verde, 1 in unincorporated Valencia, and 2 in communities not yet named.

Of the 8,038 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:

City of Santa Clarita: 4,950

Castaic: 2,245 (includes Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)

Stevenson Ranch: 229

Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 186

Val Verde: 110

Acton: 93

Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 55

Agua Dulce: 46

Saugus (unincorporated portion): 43

Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 30

Saugus/Canyon Country: 12

Bouquet Canyon: 11

Elizabeth Lake: 10

Lake Hughes: 8

Sand Canyon: 7

San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 3

*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
On Wednesday, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported the 34th and 35th deaths due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody.

Privacy laws prohibit the hospital from releasing the community of residence for patients who die; that info is reported by L.A. County Public Health, which had not yet updated its database to include the two new fatalities.

As of Wednesday, of the 10,964 people tested at Henry Mayo to date, 1,112 tested positive, 13,239 were negative, 3 were pending, 16 patients were hospitalized in a dedicated unit receiving ICU-level care (five fewer than last week), and a total of 328 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.

L.A. County COVID-19L.A. County

“Our deepest sympathies are with everyone who has lost a friend or loved one to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Unfortunately, with the recent surge in cases, we anticipate remaining in Tier 1 for the next few weeks. I don’t think this is where any of us anticipated being as we head into the fall and winter. It isn’t just that our recovery journey is stalled, it is also that we have very tough choices in front of us heading into Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. We most likely haven’t yet seen the full consequences of the surge in cases we are experiencing, and while we have made impressive strides in caring for people who are ill with the virus, this significant increase in cases may very well result in tremendous suffering and tragic deaths. We can turn this around so that we get back to slowing the spread. The actions we take today, tomorrow, and next week have tremendous impact on the health and well-being of many people in our County. If collectively we fail to stop the acceleration of new cases, we will have no choice but to take additional actions.”

Schools throughout the County have reopened for specialized services for students with high-needs, waiver programs for students in grades TK-2, childcare, and modified youth sports programs.

As of November 9, 1,571 schools have reopened for onsite learning for high-needs students; 73% are public schools, 15% are charter schools, and 12% are private schools. More than 75,000 students and more than 30,000 staff have returned for on-site learning. A list of schools open for K-12 specialized services is available online.

In addition, Public Health has received 238 applications from schools for waivers to open for grades TK-2 in-person learning; 151 applications from private schools, 81 applications from public schools, and six applications from charter schools. To date, waiver approvals have been issued to 74 schools. An additional 81 schools have been submitted to the State for final approval. For more information, visit: www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

Given the widespread transmission of COVID-19, and as in any other sector that is open, there will be cases at school sites. And while there have been around 150 cases reported among 105,868 students and staff attending schools, there have only been 12 outbreaks associated with school sites; 11 of these outbreaks involved less than five people (primarily staff). The one site with a larger outbreak was related to a sports team that traveled to Arizona to play in a competition. All schools with cases and outbreaks are working closely with Public Health to ensure appropriate disease management and contact tracing. In accordance with Health Officer orders, people who are positive are isolated from all others for at least 10 days, and close contacts are required to quarantine for 14 days.

Of the seven new deaths reported today, two people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, two people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 50 and 64 years old. Three people who died had underlying health conditions including one person over the age of 80 and two people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old. Two deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach. Upon further investigation, 47 cases and two deaths reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.

Ninety-three percent of the people who died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 6,810 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 52% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 23% among White residents, 14% among Asian residents, 10% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races.

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.

California Thursday

CA COVID-19

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.

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.

Popular links include:

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)

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 Nov. 9, 127 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. 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

Spanish

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.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Feb 26, 2021
Modified Sand Canyon Resort Project Up for Review
The Sand Canyon Resort project is scheduled to return before the Santa Clarita Planning Commission Tuesday with a series of revisions, following multiple concerns raised by both commissioners and residents.
Friday, Feb 26, 2021
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: SCV Cases Total 26,045; Nearly 2 Million Doses Administered in County
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Friday, Feb 26, 2021
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1950 - Ex-Mrs. William S. Hart appears in court to challenge will that leaves Hart Park & Mansion to L.A. County [story]
Winifred Westover
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