California surpassed New York in having the most COVID-19 cases in the nation, as Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials announced Wednesday 3,266 additional diagnoses in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 164,870 countywide.
In the Santa Clarita Valley, 47 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, with 39 in the city of Santa Clarita, three in Stevenson Ranch, two in Val Verde, and one each in Castaic, Sand Canyon and Valencia.
The Golden State has 413,576 cases to date, 12,807 new infections reported over the past 24 hours — the highest reported number in the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a live broadcast. New York reported about 1,100 fewer cases and has seen a drop in overall figures while California has seen a surge in its positivity rate, hospitalizations and deaths.
In preparing for the fall season, Newsom said the state will maintain a stockpile of 100 million N-95 respirators and 200 million surgical masks, while securing an additional 420 million masks for frontline workers.
Almost 60% of cases health officials are seeing are among young adults and hospitalizations are also increasing among them, according to Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
Of those dying, 75% are older adults, she added.
“This is all extremely distressing, remembering that these numbers add up to thousands of individual people, grandmothers and grandfathers, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends and neighbors,” said Ferrer.
In addition, Public Health reported 64 new deaths related to COVID-19 Wednesday, for a total of 4,213 in L.A. County.
Of those who died: 45 were over the age of 65, 40 of whom had underlying health conditions; and 18 were between the ages of 41-65, 16 of whom had underlying health conditions. The remaining death was reported by the city of Long Beach, which has its own public health department.
These figures still reflect behaviors that county residents were engaging in about three weeks ago, prior to restrictions being reinstated, Ferrer said.
“This week, I believe, can be a critical turning point in determining whether our collective efforts are beginning to take us in a better direction — the stakes are really high,” Ferrer added.
L.A. County also reached its fourth consecutive day of more than 2,200 hospitalizations, with 2,207 currently hospitalized, of which 27% were in the IUC and 19% on ventilators.
The seven-day average of new cases, which was 1,763 on June 22, has now climbed to 2,952, per Public Health.
“That’s almost twice as many cases as we reported a month ago, and it’s higher than it’s been at any point during the pandemic,” Ferrer added. “The seven-day average paints a clear picture about what’s happened over the last few weeks, which is that here in L.A. County, we continue to see a sharp increase in community transmission.”
Even so, Ferrer said the seven-day rolling average in daily positivity rate has begun to flatten out at approximately 8.5% since July 1.
“This is good news for all of us, because the positivity rate helps us understand how widespread our community transmission is,” she added. “The fact that we’re leveling off is encouraging.”
Data released on deaths from January through June of 2019 versus COVID-19 death rates from the same period this year shows that COVID-19 has killed more people than Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, second only to coronary heart disease.
“While this isn’t a perfect comparison because this year’s data for other leading causes of death has not yet been finalized, it does appear that COVID-19 is on track to claim more lives in L.A. County than any disease, except coronary heart disease,” Ferrer said. “In the first six months of 2020, COVID-19 killed more than twice as many people as the flu did over an eight-month period.”
Santa Clarita Valley cases
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital released its weekly tallies Wednesday, which showed that 138 tests had been conducted in the last 48 hours, totaling 4,931 since the start of the pandemic. Of those, 574 returned positive and 5,224 were negative, while 302 remained pending, according to spokesman Patrick Moody. A total of 150 people have recovered and 25 remained at the hospital — a decrease of one since Monday.
The number of SCV cases, including all area health care providers’ daily figures and those at Pitchess Detention Center, totals 4,033 as of Wednesday, which broken down into region were as follows:
City of Santa Clarita: 1,878
Unincorporated – Acton: 40
Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 17
Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 1
Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 69
Unincorporated – Castaic: 1,840 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)
Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 1
Unincorporated – Newhall: 4
Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0
Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 0
Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 3
Unincorporated – Saugus: 12
Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 1
Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 97
Unincorporated – Val Verde: 39
Unincorporated – Valencia: 31
To view all coronavirus-related stories, visit signalscv.com/category/news/coronavirus.
Tammy Murga contributed to this report.