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October 21-22
2007 - Buckweed fire chars 38,356 acres, destroys 21 homes in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce [story]
Buckweed Fire


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Wednesday confirmed 30 new deaths and 1,063 new cases of COVID-19, including a new fatality in the city of Santa Clarita and 42 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.

However, more reopenings are being OK’d as Public Health officials report seeing continued progress in key indicators, including positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths.

Nail salons, indoor malls, outdoor operations for cardrooms, breweries and wineries serving meals, and outside playgrounds may reopen over the next several days — with restrictions, officials said.

Since the pandemic began, 6,198 SCV residents have been diagnosed with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 61 residents have died (see community breakdown below), according to Public Health.

To date, the department has identified 270,299 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 6,576 deaths. Upon further investigation, 48 cases and five deaths reported earlier were not county residents.

“To everyone who is mourning people who have passed away from COVID-19, we keep you in our thoughts and in our hearts,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health.

COVID-19 deaths continue to decline in L.A. County. The average daily reported COVID-19 deaths dropped to 14. After the increase in deaths in July that continued into August, we are seeing the average daily number of deaths continue to decrease to levels not seen since early April, at the beginning of the pandemic.

This reflects declining numbers of cases and hospitalizations, and also reflects both improvements in treatment for COVID-19 patients and a shift in who is infected; with an increase in the proportion of cases among young people, there is an associated decrease in deaths.

covid 19 roundup wednesday september 30

Countywide, there are 734 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and 28% of these people are in the ICU. Hospitalizations have remained fairly steady the past couple of weeks after declining significantly since the middle of July when the county experienced an average of about 2,200 hospitalizations per day. As of September 24, the county is averaging 743 hospitalizations per day. This is the lowest number we have seen in 6 months.

Testing results are available for more than 2,662,000 L.A. County residents with 9% of all people testing positive.

The county’s percent test positivity, or the percentage of tests that are done that come back positive, has fallen significantly from an average of about 8% in July to about 3% in September. This is the lowest test positivity rate seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

Now that we have seen stabilizing or declining numbers across our metrics, and the county didn’t experience a post-Labor Day surge similar to the increases seen after Memorial Day and July 4th, the Board of Supervisors approved several Public Health recommendations for the staggered reopening of several sectors permitted by the state for counties in Tier 1 of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. (Details will follow, below.)

wednesday september 30 covid-19 roundup

California Wednesday Snapshot

Statewide, as of Tuesday, September 29, the California Department of Public Health confirmed a total of 810,625 COVID-19 cases (up 3,200), with 15,792 deaths from the disease (up 152).

There are 2,393 confirmed hospitalizations and 697 ICU hospitalizations in the state.

California’s 7-day positivity rate is 2.8% and the 14-day positivity rate is 2.8%.

As of September 29, local health departments have reported 39,120 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 186 deaths statewide.

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

COVID Around the World: USA Tops in Cases, Deaths

Worldwide, 33,802,841 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 1,000,555 people have died as of 2:23 Wednesday afternoon Pacific Time, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Since the pandemic began, more than 7,221,278 Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while the number of people in the U.S. who have died due to the virus has surpassed 206,693.

The United States has the world’s highest numbers of cases and deaths. By comparison, No. 2 Brazil’s death toll is 142,921. India, at No. 2 in cases, had confirmed 6,225,763 cases and 97,497 deaths as of late Wednesday afternoon.

covid-19 roundup wednesday september 30

Santa Clarita Valley Wednesday Update

As of 8 p.m. Monday, September 28, the latest update to its COVID-19 data dashboard, L.A. County Public Health reported the 61st death in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Of the 61 SCV residents who have died, 50 lived in the city of Santa Clarita, 4 in Castaic, 2 in Acton, 2 in Stevenson Ranch, 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, 1 in Val Verde, and 1 in unincorporated Valencia.

Of the 6,198 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:

City of Santa Clarita: 3,528

Castaic: 2,070 (includes Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)

Stevenson Ranch: 168

Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 139

Val Verde: 78

Acton: 71

Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 47

Saugus (unincorporated portion): 27

Agua Dulce: 28

Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 13

Bouquet Canyon: 9

Elizabeth Lake: 7

Sand Canyon: 7

Lake Hughes: 4

Saugus/Canyon Country: 2

*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 Newhall Hospital Wednesday Update

Henry Mayo releases statistics weekly, generally on Wednesdays, unless there is a drastic change in the number of cases or a COVID-related death has been confirmed, according to spokesman Patrick Moody.

As of September 30, of the 8,453 people tested at Henry Mayo to date, 899 tested positive, 9,925 were negative, 26 were pending, 12 patients were hospitalized in a dedicated unit receiving ICU-level care (same as the previous week), and a total of 262 COVID-19 patients have been discharged so far.

The number of COVID-19 deaths at Henry Mayo stands at 24, Moody said Wednesday.

Discrepancies in the testing numbers are due to some patients being tested multiple times. “Often a single patient is tested more than once,” he said.

covid-19 roundup wednesday september 30

Photo credit: city of Santa Clarita.

New Sectors Reopening in L.A. County

“As more businesses and schools are reopening, let’s remind each other that diligence in slowing the spread of COVID-19 has brought us to a place where these openings are possible,” Ferrer said.

“In order to keep businesses and schools open and progress to Tier 2, we need to continue to be extraordinarily cautious and to use all of the tools we have that have been proven to reduce transmission,” she said. “I’m proud to be part of the L.A. County community. This has been and continues to be a very difficult time for so many people and businesses. As we have worked together to slow the spread, we have shown how much we care for each other and our beautiful county.”

Over the next 10 days, the following sectors will be allowed to reopen once they implement the required protocols for infection control and distancing:

* Nail salons may reopen for limited indoor services at 25 percent occupancy;

* Cardrooms may reopen for outdoor gaming only. Food and beverages may not be served in cardrooms at this time;

* Indoor shopping malls will be allowed to reopen at 25 percent maximum occupancy; all food courts and all common areas remain closed per the State order;

* Outdoor playgrounds may reopen at the approval and discretion of cities and the County Parks and Recreation Department. Parents and children age two years old and older must always wear a cloth face covering, avoid people not in their household, and sanitize hands before and after using playground equipment. There is no eating or drinking allowed at the playground. Indoor playgrounds remain closed.

Public Health officials will work with County Counsel to determine the process for re-openings at breweries and wineries serving a meal.

Public Health will finalize the dates for each sector’s re-opening by the end of the week.

Comprehensive protocols for all sectors that reopen will also be posted online to ensure the continued health and safety of workers and the community. We urge all operators of businesses that are currently closed to implement all the requirements in our protocols prior to reopening to ensure compliance and avoid citations, fines and possible closure. It is critical that directives and infection protocols are followed to minimize COVID-19 spread as much as possible.

covid-19 roundup wednesday september 30

More L.A. County Demographics: Age

Of the 30 new deaths reported today, nine people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, 11 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, four people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and two people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old.

Twenty-four people who died had underlying health conditions including seven people over the age of 80 years old, 11 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, five people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and one person between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. One death was reported by the City of Pasadena and one death was reported by the City of Long Beach.

Countywide, 92% of people who died had underlying health conditions.

L.A. County COVID-19

Cases by Age Group (Los Angeles County only — excluding Long Beach and Pasadena)

* 0 to 4 4285

* 5 to 11 9267

* 12 to 17 11477

* 18 to 29 63588

* 30 to 49 87587

* 50 to 64 49381

* 65 to 79 19600

* over 80 9112

* Under Investigation 1534

More L.A. County Demographics: Race/Ethnicity

Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 6,190 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 51% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 23% among White residents, 15% 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.

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 friday september 4

California Blueprint for a Safer Economy

Governor Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy 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.

California Testing

There have been 14,705,202 tests conducted in California, an increase of 91,657 over the prior 24-hour reporting period.

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 September 13 to September 19, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.2 days. During this same time period, 69 percent of patients received test results in 1 day and 90 percent received them within two days. The testing turnaround time dashboard (PDF) is updated weekly.

As of September 22, California’s testing capacity and turnaround time have improved. As a result and until further notice, all four tiers in the Testing Prioritization Guidance originally dated July 14, 2020, will have equal priority for testing.

covid-19 roundup wednesday september 30

California Demographics

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 more than one-and-a-half times their population representation across all adult age categories. For Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, overall numbers are low, but almost double 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.

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 September 28, there have been 98 cases of MIS-C reported statewide, an increase of 10 over the previous week.

To protect patient confidentiality in counties with fewer than 11 cases, CDPH is 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.

covid roundup wednesday september 30

Protect Yourself and Your Family

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 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

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.

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, to find out where they may have been, and who they were in close contact with while infectious.

covid-19 roundup wednesday september 30

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
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Wednesday, Oct 21, 2020
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