Countywide total increases by 1,400; backlog cited again


The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county jumped 1,400 in the last 24 hours, bringing the overall number of cases to 15,140. A testing backlog was once again cited by county officials as the reason for the spike.

In that same time frame, there have been 46 new deaths due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic to 663 countywide.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, including both incorporated and unincorporated communities, there are at least 304 cases as of Tuesday afternoon, an increase of 32 cases in the last day.

The large number of cases is due to the continued backlog of new cases coming from lab test results, according to Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“This happens sometimes over the weekend, as I’ve noted before,” said Ferrer. “And it also occurs because we have some labs who are delayed in sending us their results because they do not submit them through our electronic lab system.”

Ferrer said 880 of the 1,400 new cases reported on Tuesday were due to the backlog. However, a news release released later in the day clarified that 734 of these cases are from a backlog of tests, and 625 are daily reported cases. An additional 41 new cases are being reported from Long Beach and Pasadena, two cities with their own departments of public health that have partnered with the county throughout the pandemic.

“In an effort to expand testing capacity, many new labs are responding to the emergency and Public Health is working with them to ensure that they have the proper reporting systems in place,” read the news release. “Until this reporting issue is resolved, there may be periodic increases in positive cases and total cases due to unevenness in daily reporting.”

Of the 46 deaths reported Tuesday, 33 of the people were over the age of 65; and of those, 27 had underlying conditions.

The mortality rate for the county is now at 4.3% of confirmed cases.

Throughout L.A. County, 89,000 people have been tested and reported to L.A. County, with 14% of those administered tests returning positive, Ferrer said.

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital has administered 528 tests: 109 have been positive; 418 were negative; three were still pending; and 31 people are currently hospitalized. A total of 21 people have recovered and been discharged, and three people have died while receiving treatment at the hospital due to complications with COVID-19.

Between Monday and Tuesday, one person who had tested as positive initially had a second test return as negative, said Patrick Moody, a spokesman for Henry Mayo. That case is no longer being included in the total number of people being hospitalized at the hospital due to COVID-19.

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: 244
Unincorporated – Acton: 8
Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: “–”
Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 0
Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 21
Unincorporated – Castaic: 12
Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 0
Unincorporated – Newhall: 0
Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0
Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 0
Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 0
Unincorporated – Saugus: “–”
Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 0
Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 15
Unincorporated – Val Verde: “–”
Unincorporated – Valencia: “–”

Anywhere there is a “ – ” means they could have between one and four cases, which is done to protect patient privacy, according to Public Health spokesman Bernard Tolliver. Once these locations have five or more cases, then they will be included in the count, while locations that have zero will say “0,” per Public Health officials.

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