Los Angeles County Public Health on Monday confirmed 19 new deaths and 1,920 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, and officials are seeing signs of stability in key indicators, including daily hospitalizations and deaths.
In the Santa Clarita Valley, Public Health has confirmed 4,779 COVID-19 cases to date, including 2,479 in the city of Santa Clarita.
There are 1,514 confirmed cases currently hospitalized in L.A. County, and 31% of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU. Nearly a month ago the county was averaging about 2,040 daily hospitalizations. Toward the middle of July, this number was up to 2,200 daily hospitalizations. This is significant progress in the number of confirmed cases currently hospitalized daily.
Since the pandemic began, Public Health has identified 210,424 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of the county, and a total of 4,996 deaths. That number includes 51 SCV residents who have died due to the virus, 40 of them in the city of Santa Clarita.
Deaths in the county have declined, and as of Monday L.A. County represents less than half of all deaths in the state. For a long period, L.A. County accounted for slightly more than half the deaths statewide. Deaths remain stable at an average of 37 new deaths per day over the last two weeks.
Monday’s numbers do not include backlog numbers; the state has indicated that the backlog of lab reports for L.A. County from the state electronic laboratory system should be sent shortly. Data sources that track other key indicators, including hospitalizations and deaths, were not affected by this reporting issue.
Test results are available for more than 1,952,000 county residents, with just under 10% of all people testing positive.
The 7-day average positivity rate has remained mostly flat over the month of July, hovering just under 9%. There was a slight increase to 9.5% towards the end of July. However, the department is currently seeing a positivity rate of 7.3%. Please note, this rate may be adjusted depending on how the state reporting issues will affect this metric.
Given the past ELR delays, L.A. County Public Health urges any person with a positive lab result to call 1-833-540-0473 to connect with a public health specialist who can provide information about services and support. Residents who do not have COVID-19 should continue to call 211 for resources or more information.
“Each death is devastating and as a community, we grieve for the friends, family and neighbors that we have lost to this virus,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health.
“I want to thank our residents, individuals and business owners, for working really hard to get back to slowing the spread of this virus,” Ferrer said. “We must continue on this path and build our new normal so that we can re-open our schools for in-person learning. We need to make progress so that more of our neighbors can get back to work. Please continue to wear your face coverings, avoid crowds and gathering with people that you don’t live with, practice physical distancing, and continue staying home as much as you can. This is all helping and making a difference.”
California Snapshot: Angell Resigns
Dr. Sonia Angell, the state’s top health official, resigned Sunday. Appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom last September as director of the California Department of Public Health, Angell announced her resignation in a Sunday email to the CDPH staff. She did not give a reason for the abrupt departure. Read more here.
Statewide, as of Sunday, August 9, the California Department of Public Health confirmed a total of 561,911 COVID-19 cases (up 7,751), with 10,359 deaths from the disease (up 66). There are 5,596 confirmed hospitalizations and 1,727 ICU hospitalizations in California.
As of August 9, local health departments have reported 26,544 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 137 deaths statewide.
Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.
The issue with the state’s electronic laboratory reporting system has been addressed and the system has performed as expected. Progress continues to be made on addressing the backlog reported on Friday.
COVID Around the World: 20 Million Cases
Worldwide, more than 20 million people have been infected by COVID-19 while 733,897 have died as of 4:35 Monday afternoon, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
More than 5,085,821 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 163,370.
The United States has the highest case and death rate in the world. Brazil, at #2, had confirmed 3,057,470 cases and 101,752 deaths as of Monday afternoon.
Santa Clarita Valley Friday Update
As of the latest update at 8 p.m. Saturday, the L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 data dashboard reports 51 SCV residents have died of the virus since the pandemic began. Of the dead, 40 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 4,779 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
City of Santa Clarita: 2,479
Castaic: 1,821 (includes Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)
Stevenson Ranch: 128
Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 96
Val Verde: 49
Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 38
Agua Dulce: 20
Saugus (unincorporated portion): 20
Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 6
Elizabeth Lake: 6
Sand Canyon: 5
Bouquet Canyon: 4
Lake Hughes: 1
Saugus/Canyon Country: 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.
Henry Mayo Monday Update
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 21st COVID-related death on Friday, August 7, according to Patrick Moody, hospital spokesman. Due to privacy constraints, the hospital does not disclose patients’ cities of residence.
Henry Mayo is now releasing statistics on a weekly basis (Wednesdays) unless there is a drastic change in the number of cases or a COVID-related death has been confirmed.
As of Friday, of the 5,697 people tested at Henry Mayo to date, 700 tested positive, 6,356 were negative, 106 were pending, 9 patients were hospitalized in a dedicated unit receiving ICU-level care (down 4 from August 1), and a total of 206 COVID-19 patients have been discharged so far, as fatalities at the hospital now number 21, Moody confirmed.
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.
L.A. County Contact Tracing Program
The COVID-19 contact tracing program will be in place as long as COVID-19 continues to spread and obtaining as much information as possible from people during the case investigation interview helps contain this virus.
Public Health reports the $20 gift card incentive program is working to encourage participation in the contact tracing interview process.
Prior to offering the gift card, 38% of people that were contacted during the case investigation interview were willing to share information about close contacts. In the first three days of the pilot incentive program, this number increased to 62% of people providing contacts.
Public Health has distributed nearly 5,000 gift cards.
Schools: No In-Person Learning Allowed Yet
Public Health continues to plan for the beginning of another school year that will restart virtual learning for students in TK-12.
In-person learning isn’t allowed by the state until Los Angeles County’s case rate declines to 200 cases per 100,000 population. The county’s case rate currently is 355 per 100,000.
In an effort to give parents and children as many options as possible for the fall, the department developed protocols for early childhood education, childcare programs for school-aged children, and day camps.
The childcare protocols enable childcare centers to have more students per class, increasing the number from 10 to 12 children, to be consistent with the protocols for day camps.
For childcare programs anticipated to serve school-aged children in the fall, there are new protocols that provide directives on infection control and distancing. This will provide an opportunity for children to have a safe, nurturing environment while their parents are at work.
All programs for children will have to follow similar rules as childcare and day camps do now. Teachers and students will be required to maintain a safe physical distance and to wear cloth face coverings while they are together.
Staff and students will be screened before the start of activities each day, and they will need to take detailed actions if anyone in the program develops symptoms of COVID-19.
Wear a Face Covering or Mask in Public, Help Stop the Spread
COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets. Face coverings when worn snugly over the mouth and nose limit the spread of respiratory droplets by keeping respiratory droplets from reaching someone else.
These droplets are produced when people cough, sneeze, sing, raises their voice, or even talk and can land in the eyes, mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Masks with exhalation valves or vents should not be worn since the vent permits respiratory droplets to be exhaled. Face coverings should not be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
More L.A. County Demographics
Of the 19 new deaths, five people who died (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena) were older than 80 years old, seven peoplewere between 65 and 79 years old, five people were between 50 and 64 years old, and two people were betweenn 30 and 49 years old.
Sixteen people had underlying health conditions including four people over 80 years old, six people between 65 and 79 years old, four people between 50 and 64 years old, and two people between 30 and 49 years old.
Countywide, 92% of people who died had underlying health conditions.
Upon further investigation, 24 cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 4,688 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 49% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 24% 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.
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Newsom: State Data Reporting System Backlog Cleared
In his Monday press briefing, California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state over the weekend was able to clear a 295,000-case backlog that has clouded the true scope of COVID-19’s spread in the nation’s most populous state.
Caused by a server outage that prohibited a major commercial lab from reporting test results, the IT snafu ultimately caused Dr. Sonia Angell, the state’s top public health official, to abruptly resign over the weekend.
But Newsom said the glitch has been addressed and the cases have been sent back to individual counties for processing. He expects it will take counties 2-3 days to go through the results and that the state’s confirmed case numbers will then become accurate.
Newsom tried to place the majority of the blame for the backlog — which left counties in the dark for weeks as to just how many active COVID-19 cases they had — on the state’s infamous technological woes, and not potential mistakes made by Angell, one of his political appointees.
“At the end of the day, the buck stops with me,” Newsom said.
More than 5,500 Californians are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19, a 19% decrease from two weeks ago. Meanwhile, patients in intensive care have similarly dropped 13% compared to July 27, trends Newsom called “encouraging” and “favorable.”
Nationwide, California leads with more than 561,000 confirmed cases, ahead of Florida (536,000) and Texas (504,000). According to Johns Hopkins University, California’s death toll is 10,382, and Newsom said the state’s 14-day average for daily deaths is 137.
Due to inaccurate information, California officials have been forced to freeze the coronavirus watch list that encompasses nearly 40 counties and more than 95% of the state’s population.
Asked how the watch list might change once the state finally accounts for the backlogged test results later this week, Newsom said he didn’t expect “dramatic changes.”
Counties placed on the list are prohibited from allowing indoor dining and shopping and can’t open schools unless they apply and receive a waiver from the state.
California County Monitoring Data
A total of 38 California counties including Los Angeles and Ventura are required to close indoor operations for certain sectors based on the July 13 order to slow community transmission.
See the complete list of counties here.
There have been 8,998,353 tests conducted in California. This represents an increase of 172,234 over the prior 24-hour reporting period.
More than 85 community testing sites offer free, confidential testing: Find a COVID-19 Testing Site.
The CDPH released updated testing guidance on July 23 that focuses on testing hospitalized individuals with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and people being tested as part of the investigation and management of outbreaks, including contact tracing.
The testing guidance also prioritizes individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms and individuals without symptoms who fall into high-risk categories, including people who live and work in nursing homes, homeless shelters and prisons, healthcare workers, and patients in hospitals.
The new guidance will ensure that Californians who most need tests get them even if there are limited supplies.
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 August 4, there have been 29 cases of 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
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.
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.
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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
* World Health Organization
* Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard
L.A. County residents can also call 2-1-1.
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— Courthouse News Service contributed to this report.
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