L.A. County COVID-19 count surpasses 61K, one new death in SCV

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Los Angeles County saw another day of more than 1,400 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday and one additional death in the Santa Clarita Valley, as Department of Public Health officials said tallies are expected to rise as more people get tested. 

“As long as we are testing a lot of people who need testing in L.A. County, we should expect to see our case numbers to go up. And as I’ve said before, that’s not a bad thing,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “When somebody is identified as being positive for COVID-19, it’s an opportunity for them to know that they need to isolate themselves, and for us to know at the Department of Public Health, that we need to contact them and all of their close contacts so that they stay out of circulation and cannot expose others in the general public.” 

Following reports of more than 1,400 new cases and 44 new deaths on Thursday, Public Health reported 36 new deaths and 1,445 new cases on Friday, bringing the countywide totals to 2,565 and 61,045, respectively. 

A total of 94% of people who have died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions, a figure that has remained “very high,” said Ferrer. 

“So, it continues to be important for people with underlying health conditions to stay home as much as possible, even during our recovery,” she added. 

With ongoing protests continuing across the county, including in Santa Clarita Valley, Ferrer reminded demonstrators who believe they may have come in contact with others without face coverings for at least 15 minutes to isolate for a period of 14 days. 

“After you’ve been exposed does not mean that you can’t become infected later during the incubation period. So we ask, even if you tested and you’re negative, you still need to remain away from others for 14 days after you’ve had your exposure,” said Ferrer. 

All county and state-run COVID-19 testing sites have reopened. 

In a Friday state briefing, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state is preparing its medical capacity “from the ICU perspective, the hospitalization perspective and alternative care perspective,” as protests continue, more businesses reopen, and as an increase in coronavirus cases is expected.

Santa Clarita Valley sees 22 deaths, reaches at least 2K cases

Within the SCV, one new death related to COVID-19 was reported, for a total of 22 deaths, according to Public Health on Friday. On Wednesday, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital officials confirmed one additional death at the hospital, which brought its tally to 11 and 21 valleywide. Due to patient privacy policy, the hospital declined to give any information about the newly reported deceased.

Hospital officials, who transitioned from daily to weekly reports, released their latest figures Wednesday. A total of 1,824 patients had been tested — many of whom have been tested more than once — with 227 tests returning positive, 1,810 negative and 17 still pending, according to spokesman Patrick Moody. A total of eight people remained in the hospital for treatment, and 84 had since recovered and been discharged.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, cases increased by 129 Friday, bringing the total to at least 2,000.

However, a large percentage of those cases can be attributed to the Pitchess Detention Center, which has been experiencing an outbreak for a number of weeks and reportedly has a total of at least 1,453 inmates in all four of its jails that have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Public Health’s latest figures.

These numbers are expected to later be included in Castaic’s numbers, but due to reporting delays, numbers in a region’s count may not align with outbreak investigation counts presented for correctional facilities, Public Health officials said. 

A large discrepancy between Castaic’s COVID-10 numbers and those reported at the jails can be attributed to mass testing at Pitchess Detention Center, Public Health officials also confirmed. 

The number of SCV cases, including all area health care providers’ daily figures and Pitchess Detention Center, totaled 2,000 Friday, though figures are expected to be adjusted once the Pitchess numbers are correctly tallied. Currently, broken down by region, Public Health is reporting the numbers as follows: 

City of Santa Clarita: 822

Unincorporated – Acton: 10

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 9

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 1

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 36

Unincorporated – Castaic: 1,045 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 1

Unincorporated – Newhall: 1

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – Saugus: 4

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 0

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 35

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 27

Unincorporated – Valencia: 9

To view all coronavirus-related stories, visit signalscv.com/category/news/coronavirus.

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