Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 136 new deaths and 2,157 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, while Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported its 141st death and the county OK’d outdoor youth and adult sports.
To date, Public Health identified 1,185,457 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 20,987 deaths.
The SCV has now tallied 25,909 COVID-19 cases — 116 more than Tuesday — and 249 deaths since L.A. County’s first confirmed COVID-19 infection was reported by Public Health officials on January 26, 2020.
There are 2,064 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 30% of these people are in the ICU.
Testing results are available for nearly 5,789,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive. Today’s daily test positivity rate is 3.3%, continuing a downward trend.
Records Show 806 Previously Uncounted Deaths
Through extensive checks of death records, Public Health has identified an additional 806 COVID-19-associated deaths that were not initially recorded as COVD-19 deaths.
The majority of these deaths occurred during the surge between December 3, 2020, and February 3, 2021, a period when many deaths occurred, and not all were reported to Public Health due to the volume of records.
Public Health identifies COVID-associated deaths primarily by submission of Death Report Forms from healthcare providers. Additionally, vital records are used to identify deaths related to COVID-19 by reviewing the cause of death listed on death certificates.
This review of vital records, delayed by the high volume of Death Report Forms during the surge, identified the additional deaths. Public Health has already reported 9,712 deaths that occurred between December 2020 and January 2021 and were reported through Death Report Forms. Therefore, 92% of deaths that occurred during that period were previously reported.
“It is heartbreaking to report on this large number of additional deaths associated with COVID-19 and a devastating reminder of the terrible toll the winter surge has taken on so many families across the county,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of L.A. County Public Health. “To all of you who have lost a loved one or friend to the virus, we are so sorry for your loss.”
B.1.1.7 Variant Update
To date, Public Health has confirmed a total of 18 cases of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 (U.K. variant) countywide.
Scientific research suggests COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the U.K. variant. Vaccine supplies are still limited and the local transmission of the potentially more infectious U.K. variant underscores the need for county residents to continue to use every tool we have to prevent transmission.
These tools include not gathering with people you do not live with and distancing and masking when you are out of your home and around others. These measures limit the spread of the virus and known variants and can reduce the likelihood of a surge in cases due to this variant.
See more SCV and L.A. County info and a vaccine update later in this report.
California Wednesday Snapshot
Statewide, as of Tuesday, February 23, California Department of Public Health officials confirmed 3,455,361 COVID-19 cases (up 5,303) with 49,877 deaths from the disease (up 314) since the pandemic began.
There are 6,185 confirmed hospitalizations and 1,778 ICU hospitalizations in the state, continuing a downward trend.
As of February 23, local health departments have reported 93,893 confirmed positive cases in healthcare workers and 392 deaths statewide.
There have been 47,652,172 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 138,805 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.
The 7-day positivity rate is 3.1% and the 14-day positivity rate is 3.2%, continuing a flattening trend.
Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results may include cases from prior to yesterday.
As of February 24, providers have reported administering a total of 7,763,668 vaccine doses statewide. Numbers do not represent true day-to-day change as reporting may be delayed.
The CDC reports that 10,302,040 doses have been delivered to entities within the state, and 10,573,585 vaccine doses, which include the first and second dose, have been shipped.
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 deaths in the United States as of Wednesday afternoon, February 24, 2021.
U.S. Deaths Pass Half a Million People as Case Numbers Decline
Worldwide, 112,409,584 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 2,492,420 people have died of the virus as of 1:24 p.m. Wednesday Pacific Time, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
In the U.S., more than 28,313,003 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 504,295.
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 248,529 — half of the U.S. total — and No. 3 in cases with 10,257,875. India (population 1.353 billion) is No. 2 in cases, with 11,030,176 confirmed infections and No. 4 in deaths with 156,567, behind No. 3 Mexico’s 181,809 deaths, as of Wednesday afternoon.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Wednesday Update
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported one new death Wednesday from COVID-19, bringing the hospital’s total COVID-19 fatalities to 141 to date, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody.
As of Wednesday, no cases were pending, 17 patients were hospitalized in a dedicated COVID-19 unit receiving ICU-level care, and a total of 1,142 patients had been treated and discharged, Moody said.
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 Wednesday Update
As of 6 p.m. Monday, the latest update of the L.A. County Public Health dashboard had adjusted its tally to 248 deaths among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began, but did not yet include the death reported Wednesday by Henry Mayo.
Of the 249 SCV residents who have died, 213 lived in Santa Clarita, 14 in Castaic, seven in Acton, four in Stevenson Ranch, three in unincorporated Canyon Country, two in Agua Dulce, one in Newhall, one in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, one in Lake Hughes, one in Val Verde, one in Valencia, and one in a community not yet named.
Of the 25,909 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
* City of Santa Clarita: 18,923
* Castaic: 3,562 (incl. Pitchess Detention Center & North County Correctional Facility*)
* Stevenson Ranch: 1040
* Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 783
* Acton: 439
* Val Verde: 308
* Agua Dulce: 252
* Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 178
* Saugus (unincorporated portion): 131
* Elizabeth Lake: 74
* Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 66
* Bouquet Canyon: 43
* Lake Hughes: 40
* Saugus/Canyon Country: 40
* Sand Canyon: 15
* San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 14
* 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.
Outdoor Youth, Adult Sports OK’d With Safety Measures
As of Friday, updated state guidance allows for all outdoor youth and adult recreational sports, including moderate contact and high contact sports, to resume practice, training and competitions in counties where the case rate is at or below 14 cases per 100,000 population, on Friday, February 26.
Since L.A. County’s adjusted case rate is now at 12.3 cases per 100,000, county protocols are being revised to align with the new state guidelines.
Moderate contact sports include baseball, field hockey, softball, and volleyball, all outdoors, and high contact sports include football, basketball, rugby, soccer, and water polo, all outdoors.
The new state guidance requires youth leagues offering moderate and high-contact sports to obtain consent from parents or guardians of participants to ensure they are aware of the risks of playing.
Competitions are limited to two teams within a county or two teams playing from adjacent counties. Travel to other states and countries to play in competitions or tournaments is prohibited for counties still in the purple tier.
Youth and coaches who participate in certain high-contact sports — football, rugby, and water polo — are required to get tested on a weekly basis for COVID-19.
These revised protocols cover all youth and adult recreational sports; schools, city leagues, and private clubs are all required to adhere to all the safety measures in the protocols.
At this time, vaccination still continues to be only open to healthcare workers, residents, and staff at long-term care facilities, and people who are age 65 or older which account for approximately 2.2 million people in L.A. County.
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)
The state is also transitioning the vaccination effort statewide to be coordinated by Blue Shield of California. During and after this transition, Public Health’s website, www.VaccinateLACounty.com and www.VaccunateLosAngeles.com, will remain a portal for the latest information about COVID-19 and the vaccine and link people to the statewide appointment registration system.
The COVID-19 vaccination supersite at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. | Photo: Stephen K. Peeples / SCVTV.
New Sectors Eligible for Vaccine March 1
On Monday, March 1, three additional sectors become eligible to receive vaccinations; education and childcare, food and agriculture, and emergency services, and first responders.
The county is working with these sectors and other partners to finalize vaccination strategies that offer multiple sites where eligible workers can get vaccinated.
There are approximately 691,000 people in the education and childcare sector, 145,000 people in the emergency services and law enforcement, and 470,000 people in the food and agriculture sector eligible for a vaccine.
There are vaccinators at the more than 400 vaccination sites who every day are providing vaccines to thousands of people, and many partners who are continually innovating to create ways for people who are living in the hardest-hit areas to have access to the vaccine.
There is no shortage of heroes here in L.A. County, and Public Health officials could not be more grateful for all of this amazing work.
Second Doses Guaranteed
In L.A. County, every resident is guaranteed a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
For complete details and a second-dose FAQ, click here.
L.A. County Demographics — Cases by Age Group (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena)
* 0 to 4: 22118
* 5 to 11: 53601
* 12 to 17: 67164
* 18 to 29: 265694
* 30 to 49: 373548
* 50 to 64: 216829
* 65 to 79: 86559
* over 80: 31396
* Under Investigation 6792
L.A. County Demographics — Deaths
Among these people who died, 47% were older than 80 years old and about half were male, 46% were Latino/Latinx, 29% were white, 16% were Asian, and 8% were Black/African American. Four people who died were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders and one person was an American Indian or Alaska Native. Sixty-three percent of the people died at a hospital and 16% died at a skilled nursing facility.
Addressing Inequality in COVID Care
Throughout the pandemic, people living in low-resourced neighborhoods and people of color have been disproportionally affected by COVID-19. While we see cases dropping overall, there remains a large gap between Latinx residents and other groups.
“Improving vaccine access to areas of the county that have been hard hit is our priority, and these tend to be areas where many Black and Latinx residents live,” said L.A. County Public Health’s Barbara Ferrer.
“We have opened additional sites in these areas and are working with community groups who are assisting with registering people in these communities for vaccination,” she said. “We thank our partners for their help and support as we continue to ensure improved access to vaccines in those communities that have borne the brunt of this pandemic.”
For Latino/Latinx residents, the daily age-adjusted rate of cases per 100,000 people peaked at more than 2,400 new cases per 100,000 people in early January and has dropped to 453 new cases per 100,000 people as of February 12.
But that is still almost two times that of Black/African American residents, who have the second-highest case rate of nearly 234 new cases per 100,000 people. Asian residents and white residents have a case rate of around 180 new cases per 100,000 people.
When the surge began in early November, the average number of Latino/Latinx residents who died each day was 3.4 deaths per 100,000 people and then sharply increased to 51 deaths per 100,000 people in mid-January 16. As of February 12, the mortality rate among Latino/Latinx residents has declined to 25 deaths per 100,000 people, yet still remains more than double that of other groups.
Since mid-January, the mortality rate among African American/Black residents decreased from nearly 22 deaths per 100,000 people to 9 deaths per 100,000 people. Deaths among Asian residents have declined since the peak, from 19 deaths per 100,000 people to 8 deaths per 100,000 people.
The current mortality rate among white residents is also 8 deaths per 100,000 from the peak of about 17 deaths per 100,000. And while rates are declining for all groups, the mortality rate for Latinx residents is currently 38% higher than that of white residents at the peak of the surge.
Public Health officials continue to see a high mortality rate among people living in areas with the highest levels of poverty, with three times the death rate compared to people living in the lowest levels of poverty.
As the county vaccinate our residents 65 and older, the data has exposed a very similar and frightening pattern of inequity.
White and Asian residents 65 and older continue to have the highest vaccination rate. As of February 20, almost 48% of white residents and almost 45% of Asian residents 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Thirty-eight percent of American Indian/Alaska Native residents, 34% of Latinx residents, and 29% of Black residents who are age 65 and older have received at least one dose.
While these inequities are stark and unfair, when we look at the relative percent change from the week of February 9 to the week of February 20, the county is making some progress in improving vaccination rates in the hardest-hit communities.
The vaccination rate for Black/African American residents saw the largest increase at almost 45%. For American Indian/Alaska Native residents, the vaccine rate increased by 37.1%, and Latinx residents’ vaccine rate increased by 31.9%. The vaccine rate for White residents increased by 25.1% and for Asian residents increased by 21.9%.
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.
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.
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.
* 7 counties are currently in the Purple (widespread) Tier (including Los Angeles County)
* 9 counties are currently in the Red (substantial) Tier
* 2 counties are currently in the Orange (moderate) Tier
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 7 to February 13, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.1 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 February 22, 302 cases of MIS-C have been reported statewide, 36 more than the previous week. 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 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 Executive Office of the Board of Supervisors announced the leadership team of the newly formed Probation Oversight Commission who will be tasked to lead efforts to monitor the Probation Department’s progress on systemic reform.
The Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons will host a virtual Open House on Wednesday, April 28 to help those interested in advancing their careers by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
The Los Angeles County Arts Education Collective, coordinated by the Department of Arts and Culture, and KCET have joined forces to create a new documentary that explores the value of arts education for the youth, communities, and creative economy of L.A. County.
The Santa Clarita Valley League of Women Voters, partnering with College of the Canyons Center for Civic Engagement and its Engage the Vote Student Action Team, is sponsoring a virtual, “Conversation with Mayor Bill Miranda,” on Monday, April 19, from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 57 new deaths and 411 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as the county prepares to expand vaccination eligibility to residents 16 and older on Thursday.
California public health officials this week lifted capacity limits on in-person services at places of worship from the state's reopening scheme, following a handful of Supreme Court decisions in favor of congregants challenging the state’s COVID-19 capacity limits.
The Santa Clarita City Council on Tuesday night approved one-time funding of $100,000 for the relocation of Bridge to Home shelter services for people experiencing homelessness, and an additional loan not to exceed $110,000.
California Institute of the Arts, or CalArts, is leasing space at Newhall Crossings in Downtown Newhall to put its students’ artwork on display, officials with the Valencia arts college announced recently.
The Santa Clarita City Council unanimously approved Tuesday a Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital expansion plan, following a public hearing with protest from members of a local carpenters union and calls by community members to include a mental health care unit for children.
California Senate Bill 546, a measure to extend the state's "iFoster" cell phones and data program for foster youth, has passed out of the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee with unanimous support, according to Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita).
College of the Canyons athletic programs returned to campus this week to begin outdoor team strength and conditioning activities, guided by a stringent return-to-campus procedural plan designed to ensure the health and safety of student-athletes, coaches and support staff.
If you watched NASA’s exciting Mars Perseverance rover landing on Feb. 18, you definitely won’t want to miss the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus spring 2021 virtual Star Party on Friday, April 23.
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