The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Wednesday confirmed 33 new deaths and 510 new positive cases of COVID-19, as the Santa Clarita Valley counts 6,809 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 72 deaths from the virus since the World Health Organization declared the pandemic on March 11.
To date, the department has identified 290,486 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 6,944 deaths. Upon further investigation, 33 cases and one death reported earlier were not county residents.
The number of new cases reported Wednesday is an undercount and reflects technical issues with data reporting systems, according to Public Health.
Daily Cases Average Up More than 20%
Since mid-September, the number of new cases increased to an average of about 1,000 per day. From the beginning of August through the beginning of September, new cases numbered fewer than 800 new cases per day. With more interactions between people as businesses reopen, there is an increased risk of transmission that can result in people becoming seriously ill and dying.
Public Health officials continue to closely monitor the county’s data to understand how the actions we take to slow the spread, as well as how reopening sectors, affects L.A. County communities.
There are 758 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 countywide, and 28% of them are in the ICU. The number of daily hospitalizations has been below 1,000 COVID-19 patients for most of September and has remained under 800 daily hospitalizations since mid-September.
Test results are available for more than 2,913,000 county residents, with 9% of all people testing positive.
Given the technical issues with data reporting systems over the last two days, the department reminds anyone with a positive lab result who has not yet connected with a Public Health specialist to call 1-833-540-0473 to connect with a 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.
“Every day, we are thinking of the many people across our county who are grieving a family member or friend who has passed away from COVID-19. We wish you peace during this difficult time,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health.
“I want to acknowledge what we, as a community, continue to accomplish together,” Ferrer said. “We have been living the realities of this pandemic for eight months, and these times have been full of loss and difficulties. Yet we have made progress together. We have slowed the spread of the virus and we have avoided overwhelming our healthcare system as experienced by other communities across the country. We did this, in large part, because so many people took thoughtful actions in their day-to-day lives.”
See more L.A. County info later in this report.
California Wednesday Snapshot
Statewide, as of Tuesday, October 20, the California Department of Public Health confirmed a total of 877,784 COVID-19 cases (up 3,707), with 17,027 deaths from the disease (up 35).
There are 2,348 confirmed hospitalizations and 660 ICU hospitalizations in the state, a slight increase.
California’s 7-day positivity rate is 2.6% and the 14-day positivity rate is 2.7%, an upward trend.
As of October 20, local health departments have reported 42,711 confirmed positive cases in healthcare workers and 196 deaths statewide.
There have been 17,293,139 COVID-19 tests conducted in California, an increase of 104,069 over the prior 24-hour reporting period.
Numbers do not represent true day-over-day change as these results include cases from prior to yesterday.
See more California info later in this report.
COVID Worldwide: 1.1 Million Dead; U.S. Toll Passes 221K
Worldwide, 41,046,579 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 1,128,090 people have died as of 1:24 Wednesday afternoon Pacific Time, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Since the pandemic began, more than 8,312,109 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 221,694.
The U.S., with 4.25% of the world’s population and more than 20% of the confirmed cases, also continues to lead the world in deaths.
By comparison, No. 2 Brazil’s death toll is 154,837. India, at No. 2 in cases, had confirmed 7,651,107 cases and 115,914 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon.
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Wednesday Update
On Tuesday night, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported its 30th COVID-19 death since the pandemic began, spokesman Patrick Moody said.
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, he said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, of the 9,693 people tested at Henry Mayo to date, 997 tested positive, 11,486 were negative, 44 were pending, 12 patients were hospitalized in a dedicated unit receiving ICU-level care, and a total of 290 COVID-19 patients have been treated and discharged so far.
Discrepancies in the testing numbers are due to some patients being tested multiple times. “Often a single patient is tested more than once,” Moody said.
Santa Clarita Valley Wednesday Update
As of 8 p.m. Monday, October 19, the latest update to its COVID-19 data dashboard, L.A. County Public Health reported 72 deaths in the Santa Clarita Valley since the pandemic began.
Of the 72 SCV residents who have died since the pandemic began, 59 lived in the city of Santa Clarita, 5 in Castaic, 2 in Acton, 3 in Stevenson Ranch (up from 2), 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, 1 in Val Verde, and 1 in unincorporated Valencia.
Privacy laws prohibit the hospital from releasing the community of residence for patients who die.
Of the 6,809 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
City of Santa Clarita: 3,971
Castaic: 2,153 (includes Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)
Stevenson Ranch: 189
Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 163
Val Verde: 91
Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 52
Agua Dulce: 30
Saugus (unincorporated portion): 28
Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 15
Bouquet Canyon: 10
Saugus/Canyon Country: 11
Elizabeth Lake: 7
Sand Canyon: 7
Lake Hughes: 5
*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.
Daily New Cases Keep L.A. County in Tier 1
L.A. County’s daily case numbers continue to keep the county in the state’s most restrictive purple tier (Tier 1) in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
Currently, L.A. County’s adjusted case rate is 7.6 new cases per 100,000 people. In order to move to the next less restrictive Tier, the county must reduce its daily number of new cases to 7 or fewer new cases per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks.
The county’s overall test positivity rate is 3.4% which meets the threshold for Tier 3 and the test positivity rate in our lowest-resourced areas is 5.9% which meets the threshold for Tier 2.
School Reopenings, Waivers Update
As of October 19, a total of 986 schools are open for in-person learning for high-need students; 69% are public schools, 18% are charter schools, and 13% are private schools. Almost 35,000 students and 20,000 staff have returned for this onsite learning.
To date, Public Health has received 110 waiver applications from schools to open for grades TK-2 in-person learning. A total of 87 applications submitted are from private schools, 18 applications are from charter schools, and five applications are from public schools. Waiver approvals have been issued to four schools to date and can be viewed on Public Health’s school waiver page. Once a complete application is submitted, the review process takes about 2 to 3 weeks.
More L.A. County Demographics: Age
Of the 33 new deaths reported Wednesday, 12 people who died were over 80 years old, 18 people were between 65 and 79 years old, and three people were between 50 and 64 years old. Thirty people who died had underlying health conditions including 11 people over 80, 16 people between 65 and 79 years old and three people between 50 and 64 years old.
Ninety-three percent of the people who died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions.
Cases by Age Group (Los Angeles County only — excluding Long Beach and Pasadena)
* 0 to 4 4691
* 5 to 11 10142
* 12 to 17 12549
* 18 to 29 68087
* 30 to 49 93728
* 50 to 64 52794
* 65 to 79 20858
* over 80 9560
* Under Investigation 1663
More L.A. County Demographics: Race/Ethnicity
Ninety-three percent of the people who died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 6,538 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 52% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 23% among White residents, 14% 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.
African American/Black and Latino/Latinx residents and those who live in high poverty areas have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The county continues to see decreases in deaths across all race and ethnicity groups and has made progress in closing the gaps.
During the July peak, the mortality rate among Latino/Latinx residents was 6 deaths per 100,000 people, four times that of white residents who had a mortality rate of 1.5 deaths per 100,000 people.
As of October 11, the mortality rate among Latino/Latinx residents decreased to 1.3 deaths per 100,000 people, twice that of white residents and Asian residents who have a mortality rate of a little less than 1 death per 100,000 people.
During the July peak, the mortality rate among African American/Black residents was 4 deaths per 100,000 people, almost three times that of white residents.
In October, the mortality rate among African American/Black residents has decreased to less than 1 death per 100,000 people. African American/Black residents currently have the lowest mortality rate in L.A. County.
The gap between people living in areas with the highest levels of poverty and people living in high-resource communities has narrowed.
During the peak, the mortality rate among people living in areas with the fewest resources was 6.5 deaths per 100,000 people, over three times that of people living in high-resource areas. On October 11, the mortality rate among people living in areas with the fewest resources was 1.5 deaths per 100,000 people, less than twice that of people living in high-resource communities.
Because this gap has been slow to decrease over the past months, Public Health is watching closely to see if this trend continues.
“As we head into a season with many holidays and as we celebrate our accomplished sports teams, it can be very tempting to relax our diligence,” said Public Health’s Barbara Ferrer. “Unfortunately, this would result in more cases making it difficult to move forward in our recovery and leading to unnecessary illness and death. If congregating with others not in your household, please do so only outdoors in places where you can keep six-feet of distance from others and always wearing your face covering.”
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.
Californians can go to covid19.ca.gov to find out where their county falls and what activities are allowable in each county.
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 October 4 to October 10, the average time patients waited for test results was 1.2 days. During this same time period, 68 percent of patients received test results in 1 day and 93 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.
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 October 19, 115 cases of MIS-C have been reported statewide, four more than last 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.
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, 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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