L.A. County reports highest COVID-19 death toll amid backlog; SCV sees large spike, two deaths

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Los Angeles County Public Health Department officials announced 91 new deaths related to COVID-19 Wednesday — the highest one-day death toll since the start of the pandemic — with two additional deaths reported in the Santa Clarita Valley.

This brings the countywide total number of deaths related to COVID-19 to 4,516, while the local total has risen to 46.

In addition, Public Health reported 4,825 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the countywide total to 183,383, while the SCV saw 70 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, with 61 in the city of Santa Clarita, three each in Castaic and Stevenson Ranch, and one each in Canyon Country, Newhall and Valencia.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said these figures include a large backlog in the state’s electronic lab system from Thursday through Sunday, with more than 2,000 cases coming from said delay. County Public Health officials expect to continue to receive a backlog of lab reports in the coming days.

As of Wednesday, children younger than 18 make up 8% of all COVID-19 cases in L.A. County, with 14,207 total youth cases since the start of the pandemic, and none of these individuals have died as a result, Ferrer said.

Public Health officials also continue to monitor multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, a condition in which different body parts can become inflamed in those exposed or diagnosed with COVID-19 that has affected a number of people 21 and younger. One additional MIS-C case was reported, for a total of 16 children, ranging in age from 4 months to 17, diagnosed with MIS-C, with a median age of 8. 

Of the 91 newly reported deaths: 31 of those who died were over the age of 80, 28 of whom had underlying health conditions; 27 were between the ages of 65-79, 22 of whom had underlying health conditions; 17 were between the ages of 50-64, 14 of whom had underlying health conditions; seven were between the ages of 30-49, six of whom had underlying health conditions; and three were between the ages of 18-29, two of whom had underlying health conditions. The remaining deaths were reported by the cities of Long Beach and Pasadena, which have their own public health departments.

Public Health also reported 2,045 confirmed COVID-19 cases currently hospitalized Wednesday, 28% of whom are in the ICU, while there are 2,599 suspected COVID-19 cases hospitalized, 17% on ventilators. The hospitalization data reported is again incomplete due to data from three nonreporting hospitals that were not part of Wednesday’s report.

“This is always one of our most troubling recovery metrics, (with) more than 2,000 people continuing to be hospitalized with COVID-19 since mid-June,” Ferrer said. “However, here again, it appears that the numbers have stopped climbing. Whether this is a trend that we’ll be able to sustain over the coming days and weeks remains to be seen (as it’s) very dependent on the actions we’re taking, but we will need to remain vigilant.” 

Testing results are available for 1.68 million individuals, with 10% of all people testing positive, per Public Health.

SCV cases

Henry Mayo also released its weekly tallies Wednesday, which showed that more than 100 tests had been conducted in the past 48 hours, totaling 5,276 since the start of the pandemic. Of those tested — many of whom are tested more than once — 651 returned positive, 5,731 were negative, and 217 remain pending, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody. A total of 176 people have recovered and been discharged, while 31 remained at the hospital — an increase of three since Monday.

The number of SCV cases, including all area health care providers’ daily figures and those at Pitchess Detention Center, totaled 4,301 Wednesday, broken down into region, are as follows: 

City of Santa Clarita: 2,101
Unincorporated – Acton: 40
Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 18
Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 1
Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 76
Unincorporated – Castaic: 1,856 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)
Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 1
Unincorporated – Newhall: 5
Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0
Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 0
Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 3
Unincorporated – Saugus: 13
Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 1
Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 111
Unincorporated – Val Verde: 42
Unincorporated – Valencia: 33

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

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