The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Wednesday confirmed 262 new deaths and 6,492 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as the county’s rollout of an extremely limited vaccine supply continues at Dodger Stadium and five supersites including Six Flags Magic Mountain.
The number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths reported Wednesday reflects the fact that testing sites were closed for the holiday weekend and there is slightly less testing capacity with the conversion of Dodger Stadium to a vaccination location, Public Health officials said in their daily update.
The Santa Clarita Valley has reached 22,232 total COVID-19 cases — 130 more than Tuesday — and 165 deaths since the pandemic began.
To date, Public Health identified 1,038,092 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 14,384 deaths.
“Many county residents have lost a loved one due to COVID-19. We sincerely express our condolences and want you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health.
There are 7,253 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 23% of them are in the ICU.
According to the state, the Southern California Region continues to have 0% available ICU capacity.
Testing results are available for more than 5,282,000 individuals with 19% of people testing positive.
Vaccinations Now Open to Seniors, But Doses in Extremely Limited Supply in L.A. County
Wednesday is the first day that Public Health began expanding vaccinations to county residents aged 65 years and older. With almost 1.4 million residents in that age group, and between 700,000-800,000 eligible healthcare workers, the number of vaccines required to complete two doses is more than 4 million.
Since doses first arrived 5 weeks ago on December 14, the county has received only 853,650 doses, including doses that arrived Wednesday.
The short supply means only a very limited number of vaccination appointments are currently available for frontline health care workers and seniors.
“While there is great interest in the COVID-19 vaccine, and for good reason, the vaccine supply is still extremely limited, and we want to urge everyone to have patience as we work urgently with our federal and state partners to expand capacity and supply in the weeks ahead,” Ferrer said.
“Of the vaccination doses that we received for this upcoming week, 73 percent of our allocation will need to be used for second doses,” she said. “The little bit that remains, along with any vaccine that wasn’t used the previous week, is what is available for us to use for appointments for those eligible to receive first doses. We just are not receiving enough vaccine doses to move as quickly as we would like.
“In the meantime, we must continue to do what we know is right – wear a face covering, maintain physical distance, wash hands, don’t mingle with people outside of your immediate household and sanitize everything,” Ferrer said. “These tools are effective in slowing the spread and keep people alive as we continue our vaccination efforts.”
See more SCV and L.A. County info later in this report.
California Wednesday Snapshot
Statewide, as of Tuesday, January 19, California Department of Public Health officials confirmed a total of 3,019,371 COVID-19 cases (up 22,403), with 34,433 deaths from the disease (up 694) since the pandemic began.
There are 19,979 confirmed hospitalizations and 4,682 ICU hospitalizations in the state, a slight downward trend.
As of Tuesday, local health departments have reported 80,778 confirmed positive cases in healthcare workers and 306 deaths statewide.
There have been 39,288,363 COVID-19 tests conducted so far in California. This represents an increase of 263,820 during the prior 24-hour reporting period.
The 7-day positivity rate is 9.7% and the 14-day positivity rate is 11.3%, on a downward trend.
Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results may include cases from prior to yesterday.
As of January 19, providers have reported administering a total of 1,525,816 vaccine doses statewide. Numbers do not represent true day-to-day change as reporting may be delayed.
Also as of January 19, a total of 4,112,400 vaccine doses, which includes the first and second dose, have been shipped to local health departments and health care systems that have facilities in multiple counties.
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 Wednesday afternoon, January 20, 2021.
U.S. Deaths Pass 400,000 People, Nearly 25,000,000 Infections
Worldwide, 96,772,496 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 2,071,742 people have died of the virus as of 3:22 p.m. Wednesday Pacific Time, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
In the U.S., more than 24,414,198 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 405,599.
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 212,831, and No. 3 in cases with 8,638,249. India (population 1.353 billion) is No. 2 in cases, with 10,595,660 confirmed infections and 152,718 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Wednesday Update
The seven additional fatalities from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Henry Mayo reported Monday brought the hospital’s COVID-19 death toll to 103 patients since the pandemic began, according to spokesman Patrick Moody.
In November, eight COVID-19 patients died at Henry Mayo. In December, four times that many people — 34 — died at the hospital, Moody said, an average of more than one death per day.
In 2021, as of January 20, the hospital had reported 31 patient deaths.
As of Wednesday, 95 patients were hospitalized in dedicated COVID-19 units receiving ICU-level care (five more than Monday), and a total of 911 COVID-19 patients have been treated and discharged so far, 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.
Due to staffing shortages and a large number of COVID-19 patient admissions, Henry Mayo recently issued a “code triage” alert and put out a call for nurses and doctors to fill open staff positions.
Santa Clarita Valley Wednesday Update
As of 6 p.m. Monday, the latest update of the L.A. County Public Health dashboard recorded 160 deaths among Santa Clarita Valley residents since the pandemic began, but did not yet include five of the most recent fatalities reported by Henry Mayo.
Of the 165 SCV residents who have died, 136 lived in Santa Clarita, nine in Castaic, five in Acton, four in Stevenson Ranch, three in unincorporated Canyon Country, one in Agua Dulce, one in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, one in Val Verde, and five in communities not yet named.
Of the 22,232 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
* City of Santa Clarita: 16,096
* Castaic: 3,307 (incl. Pitchess Detention Center & North County Correctional Facility*)
* Stevenson Ranch: 870
* Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 650
* Acton: 370
* Val Verde: 248
* Agua Dulce: 190
* Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 145
* Saugus (unincorporated portion): 109
* Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 59
* Elizabeth Lake: 65
* Bouquet Canyon: 38
* Lake Hughes: 34
* Saugus/Canyon Country: 26
* Sand Canyon: 13
* San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 12
*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 Vaccination Update
L.A. County Public Health has built, through a very successful public-private partnership, a robust system that is capable of vaccinating a large number of county residents in a safe, fair, and equitable manner.
This includes the five large-scale vaccination sites that opened yesterday, the city’s large-capacity site at Dodger Stadium, as well as community vaccination sites, pharmacies, federally qualified health clinics, medical providers and hospitals. However, given the very limited supply of doses coming into our county, the biggest challenge the county faces is not one of process or capacity, but of supply.
As of last week, from the total of 685,000 received doses, more than 384,000 total doses have been administered to those in Phase 1A. This includes more than 307,000 first doses and more than 87,000 second doses that have been administered.
Additionally, vaccines have been delivered to all 340 skilled nursing facilities in the county, and to date, more than 68 percent of all eligible residents received their first dose and 65 percent of staff. We have begun this week to administer second doses to those who received their first dose at the end of December.
Vaccines: Where and When
Like Dodger Stadium, L.A. County’s five new vaccination supersites were chosen for their regional accessibility and their ability to handle large capacities of people:
* 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
The registration system for these vaccination centers for healthcare workers opened January 13, and for residents 65 and older on January 19. The county has set up a healthcare worker signup website, and seniors can visit VaccinateLACounty.com to schedule an appointment for vaccination once more appointments become available.
Since only a very limited number of vaccination appointments are currently available, residents in the 65-and-older age group may also receive communication from their health care provider with information about COVID-19 vaccinations and how to receive one through their provider.
For those without access to a computer or the internet, a county call center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. to help schedule appointments at 833-540-0473. Residents are encouraged to use the website whenever possible to sign up for an appointment to avoid long wait times on the phone.
L.A. County Demographics — Deaths by Race & Ethnicity
Of the total number of people who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 13,503 people; 52% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 24% among White residents, 14% among Asian residents, 9% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 2% among residents identifying with other races.
Upon further investigation, 274 cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
L.A. County Demographics — Deaths by Age Group
Of the 262 deaths reported Wednesday (not including Long Beach), 77 people who died were over the age of 80 years old, 104 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 60 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, 19 people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old and one person between the ages of 18 and 29 years old.
Of the deaths reported Wednesday, 213 deaths were people with underlying health conditions, including 63 people who were over the age of 80 years old, 88 people who were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 44 people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, 16 people between the ages of 30 and 49 years old and one person between the ages of 18 and 29 years old.
L.A. County Demographics — Cases by Age Group (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena)
* 0 to 4: 19282
* 5 to 11: 46851
* 12 to 17: 58341
* 18 to 29: 235762
* 30 to 49: 329529
* 50 to 64: 187741
* 65 to 79: 73752
* over 80: 26785
* Under Investigation 6223
Targeted Stay at Home Orders Issued by the State
The targeted Stay at Home Orders issued by the California Department of Public Health and adopted by the L.A. County Health Officer have been extended and remain in effect.
These orders will remain in effect as long as hospital ICU capacity remains below the 15% threshold established by the state. These orders prohibit gathering with non-household members, require everyone to stay at home as much as possible, reduce occupancy limits at businesses, and require masking and distancing whenever around others.
The Southern California region’s ICU capacity remains 0% as of Wednesday.
Outdoor exercise is encouraged as long as you remain distanced and wear a face covering when around others.
The Health Officer Orders also require that all non-essential business and activities cease between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. A complete list of the current safety modifications can be found online. These orders are in place for your safety and the safety of others – to reduce the potential for virus transmission.
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 Regional Stay Home Order
Due to high rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations impacting the health care system, California is under a Limited Stay at Home Order. The order applies to all counties that are currently under the Regional Stay at Home Order and those in Tier One (Purple) of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
The Limited Stay at Home Order will expire after the Regional Stay Home Order has been terminated in all regions of the state.
Regions must remain under the Regional Stay at Home Order for at least three weeks and will be eligible to exit the order and return to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy only if ICU capacity projections for the following month are above or equal to 15%.
ICU capacity projections for regions that are eligible to exit the order are calculated daily based on four factors: current estimated regional ICU capacity available, the measure of current community transmission, current regional case rates, and the proportion of ICU cases being admitted.
Projected ICU capacity remains below 15% in the Bay Area, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California regions, which remain under the Regional Stay at Home Order. The order will be lifted for a region once its four-week ICU projection shows a capacity of greater than or equal to 15%.
Decreasing community transmission and increasing the health system capacity can help a region’s projected ICU capacity so they can exit the order.
The state continues to support hospital systems and congregate care facilities across the state as ICU capacity continues to drop. The state is providing staff assistance, personal protective gear, durable medical equipment and supplies, and infection prevention technical assistance.
On Sunday, December 13, CDPH implemented a temporary waiver of nurse-to-patient ratios for intensive care units, step-down units, emergency medical services and medical and surgical units. In addition, more than 300 additional medical staff has been deployed across the state, with more expected before the end of the month.
The update included technical updates and updates on when specific terms of the order take effect. The updated order continues to require some non-essential and non-life-threatening surgeries to be delayed in counties with 10% or less of ICU capacity under the Regional Stay at Home Order where the regional ICU capacity is at 0%.
Examples of procedures that may be delayed include carpal tunnel release and non-urgent spine surgeries. Surgeries for patients who have serious and urgent medical conditions will continue. Examples of procedures that will continue include serious cancer removal and necessary heart surgeries.
The order requires hospitals statewide to accept patient transfers from facilities that have implemented contingency or crisis care guidelines as long as those transfers can be done capably and safely.
Counties currently impacted by the Hospital Surge Order:
San Joaquin Valley: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare.
Southern California: Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines
On Monday, December 28, the California Department of Public Health released an All Facilities Letter (AFL) on implementing the Crisis Care Continuum Guidelines issued in June. With the current surge in the pandemic, many hospitals are stretched to capacity.
The guidelines support facilities that are adapting their operations and space, including staff and other resources, to handle the surge as best as possible.
In addition to this support, it’s critical that all facilities are prepared for crisis care, during which times medical professionals may have to make hard choices about allocating treatments.
The state does not determine when a hospital implements crisis care standards: that’s determined by the on-the-ground conditions, hospital capacity, and available resources. The state’s role is to ensure all hospitals have done appropriate planning to make difficult decisions and to help hospitals remain in crisis care mode for as brief a period as possible.
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.
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 January 3 to January 9, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.4 days. During this same time period, 62% of patients received test results in one day and 90% 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.
‘Safe Schools for All’ Plan
On Wednesday, December 30, Governor Newsom released his California’s “Safe Schools for All” plan, California’s framework to support schools to continue operating safely in person and to expand the number of schools safely resuming in-person instruction.
Vaccinate All 58
The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are being administered to health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. The state is working closely with community partners and stakeholders to help ensure the vaccine is distributed and administered equitably across California.
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.
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 January 11, 167 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (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 are critical to preventing long-term complications.
Protect Yourself and Your Family
California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet – faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic and this summer. If COVID-19 continues to spread at this rate, it could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes.
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.
* Staying close to home, avoiding non-essential travel, and practicing self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival if you leave the state.
* Keeping interactions to people who live in your household.
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.
On Friday, the California Department of Public Health released updates to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening framework focused on activities that can be conducted outdoors with consistent masking which will take effect April 1.
On Friday, the California Department of Public Health released updates to the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy reopening framework focused on activities that can be conducted outdoors with consistent masking which will take effect April 1.
The Newhall School District announced Friday the implementation of the first Junior Kindergarten program in the Santa Clarita Valley which will offer students who turn five years old between July 1 and Sept. 1 the opportunity to enroll in school and enjoy the benefits that both Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Traditional Kindergarten currently provide.
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has sponsored a new bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds to pay for California’s high-speed rail project, a section of which could run along Highway 14 in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Santa Clarita City Council members are set to discuss in a closed session Tuesday their ongoing legal battle with property owner Canyon View Limited over the 2.5 acres of solar panels on a Canyon Country hillside.
College of the Canyons proudly welcomes composer/lyricist, conductor, pianist and music producer Georgia Stitt to the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Virtual Industry Insight Series on Wednesday, March 10.
Valencia-based Lundgren Management was honored to be selected by the El Camino Community College District as one of three firms providing on-going construction management services for the next five years.
It’s not how far you go…it’s what happens along the way! The Incredible Chase, the city of Santa Clarita’s socially distanced take on the hit CBS show “The Amazing Race,” is a brand-new competition taking place in May 2021.
For a three-day period starting Tuesday, the William S. Hart Union High School District football players took their first COVID-19 tests as part of the requirements for them to begin full-contact play.
Ken Farley, W. M. Keck Foundation professor of Geochemistry, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences and the project scientist for the Mars 2020 mission, continues the 2020–2021 Watson Lecture season with a talk about, “Perseverance on Mars," Wednesday, March 10, at 5:00 p.m., via Zoom.
Santa Clarita LLC, which owns the undeveloped 900-plus-acre Whittaker-Bermite site, recently filed for voluntary bankruptcy, and is working to sell it to a global industrial real estate company for possible commercial and residential development, officials said Wednesday.
William S. Hart Union High School District governing board members Wednesday discussed a potential March 29 start date for junior high and high school in-person instruction, provided the number of L.A. County COVID-19 cases continues to decline.
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents that bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers after a rainfall.
This week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the kickoff for the “California Digital Divide Innovation Challenge,” a global competition that will award up to $1 million to the boldest, most revolutionary proposals to eliminate the digital divide and expand high-speed internet access to all Californians.
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 116 new deaths and 1,759 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported its 144th fatality since the pandemic began.
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