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April 16
1962 - Walt Disney donates bison herd to Hart Park [story]
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As Los Angeles County prepares to begin vaccinating residents 50 years and older on April 1 and residents 16 years and older starting April 15, Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday reported that more than 4,000,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people countywide. In addition, Public Health confirmed 40 new deaths and 648 new cases of COVID-19 in L.A. County, with 27,227 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Of those 4,000,000 vaccinated, 1,323,686 people received second doses.

This translates to hundreds of thousands of people having an extra layer of protection from serious illness and death from COVID-19 in a little more than three months.

Public Health said this was possible thanks to countless partners across the county, including providers, community and faith-based organizations, elected officials, and many more, who dedicated countless hours and resources to the vaccination effort.

To date, Public Health identified 1,219,562 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 23,143 deaths.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone who has lost a loved one or friend from COVID-19 this past year. So many have experienced unthinkable tragedy and we mourn each person no longer with us,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health.

There are 638 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 25% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for more than 6,092,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive. Today’s daily test positivity rate is 1.6%.

This week, 378,400 total doses were allocated to L.A. County. The County’s allocation for this week is higher than the 279,000 doses received last week, only 6,000 of which were the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This week, the County received 54,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

While the number of doses received increased, the lack of supply remains the biggest obstacle, as the County could have easily booked almost 300,000 additional appointments this week but couldn’t because there weren’t enough vaccines.

Public Health remains committed to increasing the number of vaccination sites in the hardest-hit communities in L.A. County. Of the total 546 vaccination sites across the county this week, 263 are located in the hardest-hit communities, including 48 in South LA and 21 sites in the Antelope Valley, both areas which have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the county.

Eligibility Update

Starting April 1, any resident aged 50 through 64 years old will become eligible for vaccination, even if they don’t have a qualifying medical condition or disability or work in an eligible sector.

There are an estimated 2 million individuals within this age group living in Los Angeles County, 631,000 of whom have already received at least one dose of vaccine as of March 27.

This means that an additional 1.4 million L.A. County residents become eligible to be vaccinated starting tomorrow.

Please note that unless you work in L.A. County in one of the eligible work sectors, vaccinations for individuals 50 years old and older and for those individuals with underlying health conditions/disabilities are limited to residents of L.A. County.

Starting April 15, vaccines will become available to any resident in Los Angeles County who is 16 and older.

There are 5 million residents in this age group, and Public Health estimates that 1 million have already been vaccinated with at least one dose.

This leaves almost 3.9 million residents that will be eligible to be vaccinated in just a couple of weeks.

This will be the largest number of people becoming eligible at any one time since the vaccination effort began in mid-December.

Public Health is projecting an increase in doses over the next month, including doses allocated directly from federal partners and the state to pharmacies, health clinics, FEMA sites, and multi-county entities, such as Kaiser and UCLA.

By the end of April, we hope to receive 700,000 vaccine doses a week, which will greatly increase our ability to vaccinate those who are anxiously waiting for an appointment slot.

If L.A. County receives on average 576,000 doses a week starting in April, the County can expect to reach 80% vaccine coverage for people 16 and older in just 12 weeks.

Reaching such a milestone is possible with increased allocations, and it would dramatically change the trajectory of the pandemic here in Los Angeles County.

In preparation for increased allocations and expanded eligibility, Los Angeles County is working on expanding collective capacity to be able to administer 1 million doses a week by the end of April.

See more L.A. County information and a vaccine update later in this report.

covid-19 wednesday roundup march 31 2021

California Wednesday Snapshot

Statewide, as of Tuesday, March 30, California Department of Public Health officials confirmed 3,568,426 COVID-19 cases with 57,936 deaths from the disease since the pandemic began.

There were 1,962 newly recorded confirmed cases Tuesday.

As of March 30, local health departments have reported 102,279 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 445 deaths statewide.

The 7-day positivity rate is 1.8%.

There have been 53,786,487 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 127,906 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.

There have been 57,936 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

As of March 31, providers have reported administering a total of 18,023,603 vaccine doses statewide.

The CDC reports that 22,892,620 doses have been delivered to entities within the state.

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 Wednesday Update

As of Wednesday, there are no cases pending, four patients are 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, Moody said.

There have been no additional deaths, keeping the total deaths at 147 to date.

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.

covid-19 roundup friday march 26 2021

Santa Clarita Valley Wednesday Update

As of 6 p.m. Monday, the latest update of the L.A. County Public Health dashboard recorded 300 deaths among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began.

 

The following is the community breakdown of the 300 SCV residents who have died, according to the L.A. County dashboard:

* 258 lived in Santa Clarita

* 17 in Castaic

* 6 in Acton

* 5 in Stevenson Ranch

* 4 in Agua Dulce

* 3 in unincorporated Canyon Country

* 2 in Valencia

* 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

covid-19 roundup tuesday march 23

 

Of the 27,227 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:

* City of Santa Clarita: 19,926

* Castaic: 3,678 (incl. Pitchess Detention Center & North County Correctional Facility*)

* Stevenson Ranch: 1,121

* Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 825

* Acton: 461

* Val Verde: 333

* Agua Dulce: 267

* Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 185

* Saugus (unincorporated portion): 128

* 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: 28834

* 5 to 11: 54996

* 12 to 17: 68922

* 18 to 29: 273264

* 30 to 49: 384509

* 50 to 64: 223525

* 65 to 79: 89081

* over 80: 32434

* Under Investigation 697

L.A. County Demographics — Deaths

Of the 40 new deaths reported today, 16 people that passed away were over the age of 80, 14 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, six 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.

covid-19 roundup friday march 26 2021

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.

Vaccine eligibility categories were expanded to include gardeners and landscapers, housekeepers and private child caretakers working at least 20 hours per week, and flight crews that live or are based in Los Angeles County. Persons in these occupations are now eligible for the vaccine and can now register for a vaccination appointment.

The State announced starting April 1, COVID-19 vaccine eligibility will expand to individuals age 50 and older, and starting April 15, for individuals age 16 and older.

The County hopes the expansion of eligibility includes increased doses of vaccine coming into L.A. County. Public Health greatly looks forward to this expansion, however, the success will be dependent on receiving a substantial increase in vaccine supplies.

“As vaccination eligibility expands, we remain laser-focused on ensuring an equitable distribution of vaccines,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health.

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)

* Six Flags Magic Mountain, 26101 Magic Mountain Pkwy, Valencia 91355

* 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)

Public Health is tracking outbreaks where many people have been vaccinated at healthcare settings, skilled nursing facilities, and other long-term care and residential settings.

When the surge began in late October and early November, outbreaks at long-term care facilities, skyrocketed 1,300% from 13 outbreaks the week of October 25 to 189 outbreaks the week of Dec. 6.

Skilled nursing facilities experienced a 234% increase in outbreaks during the surge, from 26 outbreaks the week of October 25 to 87 outbreaks the week of December 6 outbreaks.

Healthcare settings also saw more outbreaks during the surge, from 13 outbreaks in late October to 31 outbreaks in early December.

When the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were approved for emergency use in mid-December, the County prioritized staff and residents at long-term care facilities and frontline healthcare workers as the first to receive the vaccine.

Once Public Health began administering the vaccine, outbreaks at these settings plummeted, with outbreaks at long-term care and residential settings dropping from 189 outbreaks in early December to just 7 outbreaks in mid-February. Outbreaks at skilled nursing facilities also dropped significantly, from 87 outbreaks in early December to only 10 outbreaks in mid-February. Outbreaks at health care facilities dropped from 31 in early December to 1 by mid-February.

This data provides a real-life example of the power of the current vaccines; while outbreaks do decrease with less community transmission, the magnitude of these declines most likely indicates that vaccines provide significant protection against transmission even in very high-risk settings.

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.

covid-19 roundup weds march 24

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.

Blueprint tiers are updated weekly on Tuesdays. The Blueprint summary as of March 30

* 8 counties are currently in the Purple (widespread) Tier

* 36 counties are currently in the Red (substantial) Tier (including Los Angeles County)

* 17 counties are currently in the Orange (moderate) Tier

* 2 counties are 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.

Find the status of activities in specific counties.

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.

For more information on the vaccine effort, visit the Vaccinate All 58 webpage.

Tracking Variants

Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been identified globally during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These genetic mutations are expected, and some emerge and then disappear, while others persist or become common. Most variants do not have a meaningful impact.

Public health becomes concerned about a variant when it affects COVID-19 transmission, severity, testing, treatment, or vaccine effectiveness.

Public Health continues to identify variant cases in Los Angeles County.

Among 49 specimens analyzed at the Public Health Laboratory this past week, 21 cases, or 43% of the specimens analyzed, were the California variant of concern, identified as B.1.427 or 429, and 20 cases, or 40% of the specimens analyzed, were the U.K. variant of concern, B.1.1.7.

These two variants represent 84% of the variants identified this past week, both of which are variants of concern with the probability of increased transmissibility and more severe disease.

Los Angeles County has yet to identify cases of the South African variant or the Brazilian variant of concern, the P.1 variant.

Other variants identified this week include one case of the New York variant and two cases of the Brazilian variant of interest P.2.

With the California and the U.K. variants becoming the dominant variants in the sampled specimens, it is increasingly important that we adhere to safety measures such as masking, social distancing, and regular routine handwashing to avoid increasing the chances that these variants circulate more widely.

​”After many weeks of falling cases, it is understandable that people feel like it is safe to meet up with friends or family, go to a gathering, or not wear their mask at all times,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Unfortunately, we are not yet out of the woods. Any rise in cases will not just force a step back in our recovery, it will surely lead to more transmission and the wider circulation of the more infectious variants of concerns.

“While many of those most vulnerable for serious illness and death have been vaccinated,” she said, “about 50% of L.A. County residents 16 and older have not yet received their first dose and are at risk if they become infected of infecting others, ending up hospitalized, and tragically, dying.

“Let’s not gamble with anyone’s future when we can clearly see a time very soon in the future when most of us will have an extra layer of protection from severe illness and death. The choices we make today will become apparent in 2 to 3 weeks. I ask all of you to make the right choice by doing everything you can to save your life or the life of a loved one,” she said.
Get more information here on the variants CDPH is currently monitoring.

covid-19 roundup friday march 26 2021

‘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.

Travel Advisory

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.

covid-19 cases roundup friday march 26 2021

California Testing & Turnaround Time
More than 85 community testing sites offer free, confidential testing: Find a COVID-19 Testing Site.

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 7 to March 13, the average time patients waited for test results was one day. During this same time period, 81% of patients received test results in one day and 95% 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.

coronavirus covid-19 roundup friday march 26 2021

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. 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.

* Avoiding non-essential travel, and practicing self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival if you leave the state.

* Keeping interactions limited to people who live in your household.

* 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.

* Getting tested if you believe you’ve been exposed. Free, confidential testing is available statewide.

* Getting vaccinated when it’s your turn.

* 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.

covid-19 roundup weds march 24 2021

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 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)

Consolidated guidance is available on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance webpage.

* * * * *

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19):

* Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

* California Department of Public Health

* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

* Spanish

* World Health Organization

* Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard

L.A. County residents can also call 2-1-1.

* * * * *

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SCV NewsBreak
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