Los Angeles County Public Health on Tuesday confirmed 26 new deaths and 386 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as the California Public Health officials moved L.A. County to the less-restrictive Orange Tier, with key sectors reopening, resuming indoor operations and/or increasing capacity on Monday, April 5.
L.A. County is also preparing to expand eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday to county residents 50 through 64 years old, and on April 15, to any county resident 16 and older.
Since the pandemic began, Public Health has identified 1,218,958 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 23,110 deaths. The lower number of deaths and cases reported Tuesday may reflect reporting delays over the weekend and holiday.
To date, the Santa Clarita Valley has counted a total of 27,203 COVID-19 cases — 27 more cases than Monday — and 299 SCV residents have died of the virus.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the friends and families who are living through this tragedy. We are sending our love and prayers during your time of grief,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, L.A. County Director of Public Health.
The daily average number of cases is now fewer than 400 daily cases, a 50% decrease from the number of cases at the end of February.
There are 649 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, and 27% of them are in the ICU. Public Health officials are seeing much progress in terms of hospitalizations and deaths, as the daily average number of hospitalizations decreased 52% since the end of February, and the daily average number of deaths decreased 75% in the past month.
As of Tuesday, testing results are available for nearly 6,081,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive.
Red Tier to Orange Tier Details
Los Angeles County has met the threshold for the less restrictive orange tier in California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy because updated numbers released Tuesday show the county’s adjusted case rate dropped from 3.7 new cases per 100,000 people to 3.1 new cases per 100,000 people.
The test positivity rate dropped from 1.8% to 1.5%. In areas with the fewest health-affirming resources, L.A. County’s test positivity rate dropped from 2.5% to 2.1%.
A revised county Health Officer Order will go into effect on Monday, April 5 at 12:01 a.m. to reflect newly permitted activities. This allows the county to follow the state guidelines and wait until three weeks are completed in the Red Tier to be sure that case numbers do not rise this third week since the county’s earlier re-openings.
Public Health teams will be available this week and through the weekend to provide information about upcoming changes, allowing establishments to be prepared for full compliance with the required safety modifications.
Assuming county case numbers do not increase this week, the modified Health Officer Order and directives for businesses will be posted on Friday, reflecting the changes effective Monday, which are:
* Bars that do not provide meals will be allowed to open outdoors with distancing, masking and infection control safety measures. Indoor operations are not permitted. Masks are required except when people are eating or drinking. There can be no counter seating and people can eat or drink only when they are seated. Tables must be 8 feet apart, with a maximum of 6 people from up to 3 different households. There can be no live entertainment, television is permitted, and hours of operations are from 11:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.
* Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries that do not serve meals can remain open outdoors and can also open indoors at 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. These establishments will follow the same public health directives as bars for their outdoor areas, however, there are additional requirements for indoor spaces: reservations are required for indoor seating, there is a maximum of 6 people per table and they must be from the same household, and there is no live entertainment or television viewing indoors.
* Restaurants can increase capacity for indoor dining to 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is less with continued safety modifications.
* Cardrooms can operate indoors at 25% capacity. There must be 8-feet of distancing between tables and masks are always required. Food and beverages remain banned from card tables.
* Places of Worship can hold services indoors at 50% capacity.
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Church.
* Fitness Centers can operate indoors at 25% capacity and indoor pools can now re-open. Masks are always required unless swimming.
* Movie Theatres can increase capacity to 50% or 200 people, whichever is less. Seats must be reserved, and each group must have 6 feet of distance from other groups in all directions. Eating is allowed in only designated areas or in your reserved seat.
* Family Entertainment Centers can open indoors at 25% capacity for distanced activities, such as bowling or escape rooms. Masks remain required.
* Grocery and Retail Stores can increase capacity to 75%, although Public Health strongly recommends grocery stores remain at 50% capacity until April 15 to allow as many grocery store workers as possible to get vaccinated.
* Hair Salons, Barbershops, and Personal Care Services can increase capacity to 75% with masks required, except for services where customers need to remove their masks. For services where customers must remove their face coverings, staff must wear a fitted N95 or a mask with a face shield.
* Museums, Zoos, and Aquariums can be open indoors at 50% capacity.
* Youth and Adult Recreational Sports can apply to Public Health for approval for athletic events, tournaments, or competitions that involve more than two teams or multiple individuals.
“While Los Angeles County has yet to experience increases, this week will be critical, as we are now two weeks out from when we moved into the Red Tier and reopened several sectors,” L.A. County Public Health’s Barbara Ferrer said.
“There is much to be optimistic about,” she said. “Los Angeles County has administered nearly 4 million vaccine doses. Spring is here. The weather is beautiful. USC and UCLA are in the Elite Eight and we are close to opening day for baseball.
“However, we cannot let our guard down,” Ferrer said. “Another surge here would be dangerous and stop our recovery progress. We would move swiftly to introduce measures to limit transmission and these measures would have us stepping backward. Keep yourself, your loved ones, and essential workers safe by following all the rules when you are at a business, retail or food establishment ”
The L.A. County Board of Supervisors released a statement Tuesday afternoon, echoing Ferrer’s sentiments:
“Reaching the Orange Tier is a welcome milestone for Los Angeles County and everyone who lives and works here. After a long, tough year, this is the clearest sign yet that we are moving into a new season of hope and renewal.
“Thanks to our collective vigilance, starting Monday more of us can now take part in more of the rituals and activities that we’ve missed—whether that means joining together, safely, in a place of worship, at the gym, or visiting a museum or movie theater.
“We’ve come too far to let our guard down now, so please continue to follow the Public Health guidance on masking and distancing, and be sure to get vaccinated as soon as it’s your turn. We are still on a long road to recovery, and we don’t want to lose the momentum that has helped us reach the Orange Tier, and all it stands for in terms of enjoying a ‘new normal’ in our daily lives.”
See more L.A. County information and a vaccine update later in this report.
California Tuesday Snapshot
Statewide, as of Monday, March 29, California Department of Public Health officials confirmed 3,566,464 COVID-19 cases (up 1,996) with 57,788 deaths from the disease (up 10) since the pandemic began.
There are 2,257 confirmed hospitalizations and 561 ICU hospitalizations in the state, continuing a downward trend.
As of March 29, local health departments have reported 102,220 confirmed positive cases in healthcare workers and 444 deaths statewide.
There have been 53,684,932 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 174,999 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.
The 7-day positivity rate is 1.6%.
Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results may include cases from prior to yesterday.
As of March 30, providers have reported administering a total of 17,649,015 vaccine doses statewide.
See more California information later in this report.
Screencap from the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering COVID-19 dashboard, showing COVID cases in the United States as of Tuesday afternoon, March 30, 2021.
U.S. Deaths Surpass 550,000 People
Worldwide, 127,987,404 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 2,797,124 people have died of the virus as of 1:26 p.m. Tuesday Pacific Time, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
In the U.S., where Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials warn that a fourth wave of infections and deaths appears to be mounting as cases rise in two dozen states, more than 30,378,955 Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The number of people in the U.S. who have died due to the virus has now surpassed 550,727.
With 4.25% of the world’s population (328.2 million) and more than 20% of the confirmed COVID-19 cases, the U.S. also continues to lead the world in deaths.
By comparison, Brazil (population 209.5 million) is No. 2 in deaths with 313,866 — almost half of the U.S. total — and No. 2 in cases with 12,573,615. India (population 1.353 billion) is No. 3 in cases with 12,095,855 confirmed infections and No. 4 in deaths with 162,114, behind No. 3 Mexico’s 201,826 deaths, as of Tuesday afternoon.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Tuesday Update
Henry Mayo has no cases pending, four patients remain hospitalized in a dedicated COVID-19 unit receiving ICU-level care, and a total of 1,191 patients have been treated and discharged since the pandemic began, hospital spokesman Patrick Moody said Tuesday.
The number of people who have died of COVID-19 at Henry Mayo stands at 147, according to Moody; 74 of the fatalities occurred in 2020, while 73 people have died so far this year.
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 Tuesday Update
As of 6 p.m. Sunday, the latest update of the L.A. County Public Health dashboard recorded 299 deaths among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began.
The following is the community breakdown of the 299 SCV residents who have died, according to the L.A. County dashboard:
* 257 lived in Santa Clarita
* 17 in Castaic
* 6 in Acton
* 5 in Stevenson Ranch
* 4 in Agua Dulce
* 3 in unincorporated Canyon Country
* 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon
* 1 in Elizabeth Lake
* 1 in Lake Hughes
* 1 in Newhall
* 1 in unincorporated Saugus/Canyon Country
* 1 in Val Verde
* 1 in unincorporated Valencia
Of the 27,203 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
* City of Santa Clarita: 19,898
* Castaic: 3,676 (incl. Pitchess Detention Center & North County Correctional Facility*)
* Stevenson Ranch: 1,121
* Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 824
* Acton: 461
* Val Verde: 331
* Agua Dulce: 267
* Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 184
* Saugus (unincorporated portion): 138
* Elizabeth Lake: 75
* Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 68
* Bouquet Canyon: 47
* Lake Hughes: 41
* 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 Demographics — Cases by Age Group (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena)
* 0 to 4: 28821
* 5 to 11: 54977
* 12 to 17: 68892
* 18 to 29: 273103
* 30 to 49: 384342
* 50 to 64: 223431
* 65 to 79: 89038
* over 80: 32425
* Under Investigation 700
L.A. County Demographics — Deaths
Of the 26 new deaths reported today, seven people that passed away were over the age of 80, nine people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, eight people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64, and two people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49.
L.A. County Vaccine Update: Eligibility & Appointments
Currently, people who are eligible for the vaccine include healthcare workers, residents and staff at long-term care facilities, people who are age 65 or older, education and childcare workers, food and agriculture workers, emergency service workers and law enforcement, people with certain serious health conditions and disabilities, people who live in group settings, janitorial-custodial-maintenance workers, and transportation and logistics workers.
Changes will be made to the MyTurn eligibility criteria starting Wednesday to allow all residents 50 through 64 years old to begin to schedule appointments.
Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.
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)
* California State University, Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge 91330
* Pomona Fairplex, 1101 W McKinley Ave, Pomona 91768
* The Forum, 3900 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood 90305
* L.A. County Office of Education, 12830 Columbia Way, Downey 90242
* California State University, Los Angeles, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles 90032 (operated by FEMA)
CDC: Single Dose Reduces Infection Risk 80%
In a study released Monday of about 4,000 health-care personnel, police, firefighters, and other essential workers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the vaccines reduced the risk of infection, both asymptomatic and symptomatic infection by 80% after one dose, and that protection increased to 90% following the second dose.
Different from the clinical trials, which are tightly controlled and showed the vaccines are highly effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths, this study shows just how effective the vaccines are in preventing infections in real-life conditions. The findings of this study are significant and provide evidence that the vaccines can both reduce transmission and save lives.
Nearly 4 Million Doses Administered
L.A. County continues making progress in administering the COVID-19 vaccine. As of March 24, the county has administered close to 4 million doses of vaccine, with more than 1.2 million people receiving a second dose.
As of March 27, the county has vaccinated 71% of people ages 65 through 79 and 62% of people over the age of 80. These age groups were prioritized because of their high risk for serious illness or death from COVID-19. The county has also vaccinated 32% of people ages 50 through 64 who were eligible workers or individuals with serious underlying medical conditions or disabilities.
In total, there are almost 5.5 million residents 16 and older that still need to be vaccinated.
Please note that while the county received more vaccine doses this week, there are not yet enough doses to vaccinate everyone that is eligible, so officials ask for patience until supply increases. Public Health’s priority will remain to get residents and workers in hard-hit communities vaccinated. We will redouble efforts to increase accessibility and availability of vaccines in communities with the highest risk and lower rate of vaccinations.
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 was 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.
The California Department of Public Health modified Blueprint thresholds on March 12 after the state successfully met its first vaccine equity milestone of 2 million administered vaccine doses in some of the state’s hardest-hit communities.
Under the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, Los Angeles County and 12 more counties are moving to a less restrictive tier as of Tuesday, although local public health departments may implement policies that are more restrictive than the state.
The blueprint summary as of March 30:
* 3 counties are currently in the Purple (widespread) Tier
* 36 counties are currently in the Red (substantial) Tier
* 17 counties are currently in the Orange (moderate) Tier (including Los Angeles County)
CDPH announced changes to the Cohort Guidance. The Cohort Guidance now only applies to counties in the Purple Tier and is frequently referenced for operations at day camps, before and after school programs, and childcare centers.
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 March 14 to March 20, the average time patients waited for test results was one day. During this same time period, 83% of patients received test results in one day and 97% 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 29, 443 cases of MIS-C have been reported statewide, 30 more than the previous week. 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.
Travis Preston, California Institute of the Arts School of Theater dean and CalArts Center for New Performance executive artistic director, has been named to the Artistic Committee of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival.
On a night that Jordan Starr not only moved into fourth place all-time in career assists but also scored his 1,000th career point, The Master's University men's basketball team beat the Bethesda Flames 106-86 in a non-conference game at The MacArthur Center.
Travis Preston, California Institute of the Arts School of Theater dean and CalArts Center for New Performance executive artistic director, has been named to the Artistic Committee of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival.
Business's that pay taxes may be eligible to direct a large portion of their Use Tax back to Santa Clarita’s general fund for public safety, parks, libraries, infrastructure and other city services and receive a cash rebate on a portion of the Use Tax remitted to the city.
Three adult suspects were arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of possession of fentanyl with intent to sell the opioid after two other adults overdosed on the drug at Bouquet Canyon Park in Saugus, according to law enforcement officials.
Officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau are investigating a body found at Northbridge Park in Valencia, which was found in the middle of the basketball courts there Wednesday morning.
iLEAD California Schools announced the appointment of its new CEO Amanda Fischer, who has contributed to the development of the organization and partner schools since 2018, when she joined as Executive Director of iLEAD California.