County: 475 new cases, 18 new deaths, but curve is flattening


Health officials said Friday that in the previous 24 hours the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 18 new deaths due to COVID-19 and 475 new confirmed cases countywide, with six of those new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Public Health Department, also said the county would be extending the shelter-at-home directive until May 15.

“We have, in fact, seen what we now can confirm is in fact the flattening of the curve in a way that’s actually saving lives and allowing us to have a chance at making sure our health care system remains able to serve all care,” said Ferrer. “But, because there is so much, there are so many people that are infected in L.A. County, and because there’s so much spread, we have to continue to keep ourselves physically apart from each other.”

Ferrer said that large outdoor activities will remain closed, county trailheads and playgrounds will remain closed and all non-essential businesses will continue to be closed to the public through May 15.

Public Health officials also said the SCV, combining both the confirmed cases from the incorporated and unincorporated communities and numbers provided from both Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and private health care providers, has at least 169 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

The total number of cases has now reached 8,430 cases countywide and 241 deaths with a 2.9% mortality rate for those who have received a positive diagnosis.

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, as of Friday, has administered 394 tests, 61 of which were positive and 323 were negative, according to Patrick Moody, a spokesman for the hospital. A total of 20 tests were still pending, and 17 people were hospitalized as of Friday.

The number of cases for the SCV, broken down into region, were as follows, according to Public Health’s numbers as of Friday afternoon:

City of Santa Clarita: 130
Unincorporated – Acton: 5
Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: “–”
Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 12
Unincorporated – Castaic: 8
Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 0
Unincorporated – Newhall: 0
Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0
Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 0
Unincorporated – Saugus: “–”
Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 0
Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 11
Unincorporated – Val Verde: 0
Unincorporated – Valencia: “–”

Anywhere there is a “ – ” means they could have between one and four cases, according to county DPH officials.

This is done to protect patient privacy, and once these locations have five or more cases then they will be included, according to Public Health spokesman Bernard Tolliver. Locations that have zero will say “0.”

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