COVID-19 cases across SCV rise to at least 139

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Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital officials confirmed Tuesday two new diagnoses for COVID-19, and L.A. County announced five others had been confirmed, which increased the total number of cases across the Santa Clarita Valley to at least 139. 

Tuesday also saw the second-largest one-day increase in fatalities countywide, with 22 deaths reported, bringing the COVID-19 death toll to 169 in L.A. County, according to the county Public Health Department.

The hospital’s two new confirmed cases, plus an additional five cases reported by Los Angeles County from other sources, brought the SCV’s total of new cases to at least seven.

Since the start of the virus outbreak locally, Henry Mayo has reported its own numbers, which reached a total of 56 positive cases by late Tuesday morning, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody. 

Kaiser Permanente, which has offices in the SCV and has started drive-up testings across Southern California, said it would not release reports of COVID-19 confirmed cases.  

Henry Mayo has administered 371 tests, 20 more since Monday, and of those, 294 returned negative, while 27 remain pending. There is a disparity in figures due to some patients being tested more than once, said Moody. 

As of Tuesday, two additional patients stayed at Henry Mayo for treatment, bringing the overall tally to 14 hospitalized individuals. The hospital currently does not have information on the number of recovered patients, according to Moody. 

In Los Angeles County, the Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday afternoon an additional 550 new COVID-19 cases, which brought the total over the last 48 hours to 970 new diagnoses. Overall, the countywide tally reached 6,910 cases and a death toll of 169 after an additional 22 deaths were reported, Barbara Ferrer, the department’s director, said in the county’s daily COVID-19 briefing. 

The county does not have a “report-back mechanism” in confirming how many people have recovered, said Ferrer, adding, “People have recovered once they’re no longer in the hospital, no longer under isolation and have not passed away. And so over time, that number should become clear to us, as in fact we see turnaround times at our hospitals and we can anticipate that many of those people are returning (home).” 

As of April 6, more than 35,300 people in the county received testing and 14% returned positive, said Ferrer. 

“I want to note that we believe we have over 20,000 negative lab results that aren’t included here,” she said. “We’re waiting for verification through electronic lab reporting. We hope by the end of the week we’ll have a more accurate count of total labs and the percent of folks who are positive.”

For the first time, Public Health provided preliminary race and ethnicity information on the individuals who died after testing positive for COVID-19. The county only had information for 93 of the 169 cases, of which 19% of people who died were Asian, 17% were African American, 28% were Latinx, 27% were white and 9% were identified as belonging to another race or ethnicity, said Ferrer. 

She and other health officials have urged the public to avoid going out this week and the next, including for essential errands such as to purchase groceries. On Tuesday, Ferrer recognized that “this week is Holy Week and Passover begins tomorrow…so I ask for now that you please cancel any planned gatherings, and this includes in-person gatherings, as well as gatherings in cars.” 

The number of cases for the Santa Clarita Valley, broken down into region, were as follows, according to Public Health’s numbers as of Tuesday afternoon:

  • City of Santa Clarita: 112
  • Unincorporated – Acton: “–”
  • Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: “–”
  • Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 9
  • Unincorporated – Castaic: 6
  • 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: 8
  • 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.”

Previously, The Signal had not been including the “–” in the day’s final count, but since the “–” represents a value ranging from one to four, the count now reflects the more accurate number.

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