Public Health reports 2,542 new cases countywide, attributes surge to reopenings

Courtesy of CDC

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials announced Sunday a “sharp increase” in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations linked with the reopening of businesses, as more than 2,500 new diagnoses were reported in the last 24 hours. 

Countywide, there were 2,542 new cases and 20 new deaths, which brought the overall totals to 97,894 and 3,305 deaths, respectively. 

In the Santa Clarita Valley, where a large majority of cases are attributed to a Pitchess Detention Center Outbreak, the tally jumped by 41 new cases, totaling 3,078. The death toll reached 31. 

Over the past days, Public Health officials have stated concerns over a spike in cases across the county. On Sunday, the message was reiterated after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that bars and nightspots would have to close in seven counties, including Los Angeles County — about a week after their June 19 reopening. 

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is guided by science and data and the key metrics monitored are showing concerning trends, officials stated in a release Sunday. There has been a sharp increase in new cases and hospitalizations. The timing of these increases is in line with the reopening of key sectors, including bars, which are places where people remove their face covering to drink while they may be socializing with people not in their households, according to Public Health officials.

“While it’s disappointing to take a step back on our economic recovery journey, it’s critical that we protect the health of our residents and protect the capacity in our health care system,” Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health, said in a prepared statement. “I implore that our residents and businesses follow the Public Health directives that will keep us healthy, safe and on the pathway to recovery. Otherwise, we are quickly moving toward overwhelming our health care system and seeing even more devastating illness and death.” 

As of Sunday, there were 1,717 people hospitalized, marking an uptick since the 1,350 to 1,450 daily hospitalizations seen in recent weeks. Testing results are available for more than a million individuals, with 9% of people testing positive. The cumulative positivity rate has increased from 8% to 9%, and the seven-day average of the daily positivity rate has increased from 5.8% two weeks ago to 8.7%, according to Public Health.

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported Wednesday a total of 2,725 patients had been tested — many of whom have been tested more than once — with 282 tests returning positive, 2,766 negative and 50 still pending, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody. Thirteen people remained in the hospital, and 99 have recovered and been discharged, he added.

The hospital is expected to update its figures by July 1. 

The number of SCV cases, including all area health care providers’ daily figures and those at Pitchess Detention Center, totaled 3,078 as of Sunday, which, broken down into region, are as follows: 

City of Santa Clarita: 1,111

Unincorporated – Acton: 21

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 13

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 1

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 43

Unincorporated – Castaic: 1,781 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 1

Unincorporated – Newhall: 3

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – Saugus: 5

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 0

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 57

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 29

Unincorporated – Valencia: 13

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