After improving its data processing systems, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials reported 103 new COVID-19 cases in the Santa Clarita Valley over the holiday weekend, with 27 additional cases Monday, bringing the local total to 3,370.
In addition, Public Health reported two additional deaths in the SCV related to COVID-19, bringing the total to 34 locally.
Over the four-day period, the city of Santa Clarita had 109 new COVID-19 cases, while there were eight reported in Stevenson Ranch, seven in Castaic, four each in Acton and Val Verde, and three in Canyon Country.
“We are in a new chapter of our response,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Monday. “And unfortunately, where we are today is different than where we were two, three or four weeks ago. Cases are surging, hospitalizations are increasing, and mostly, this is all a reflection of a lot more community spread.”
On Sunday, Public Health reported 7,232 new cases over three days, with 2,643 cases reported Thursday, which would typically be released Friday; 3,187 cases for Friday — a new one-day high — and 1,402 cases Saturday. Saturday’s number is missing lab reports from one of the larger labs, per Public Health.
There are also 30 new deaths reported during this period. However, this is an undercount as some of the reported deaths are still pending verification, according to Public Health officials.
“The county reported its highest case counts over the weekend with more than 7,000 new cases between Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” added county Supervisor Kathryn Barger of the 5th District, which includes the SCV. “The positivity rate for those who are being tested is at 10% over the last seven days. This shows that there is an increase in community transmissions and that there are many individuals who are infectious around us. Therefore, it becomes even more critically important to practice physical distancing (and) wear face coverings.”
On Monday, Public Health reported 1,584 additional COVID-19 cases, which Ferrer said is lower because Public Health does not receive reporting from some labs over the weekend. This brings the countywide total to 116,570.
In addition, Public Health reported 48 new deaths countywide Monday, bringing the total to 3,534 in L.A. County.
Of those who died in the last 24 hours: 33 were over the age of 65, 28 of whom had underlying health conditions; 13 were between the ages of 41-65, 12 of whom had underlying health conditions; and one who was between the ages of 18-40 and had underlying health conditions.
Public Health also reported that almost 50% of new cases occur among younger people, with the most significant increase in the percentage of cases among residents between the ages of 18-40.
These figures come as Gov. Gavin Newsom reported Monday 7,876 new cases on an average seven-day rolling period, which included L.A. County’s tallies from the holiday weekend. California has more than 260,000 diagnoses to date.
With the number of cases surging, Newsom also announced that the state added additional counties to its watch list: Colusa, Madera, Marin, Merced, Monterey and San Diego. These counties join a previous list of 19, which includes L.A. County, that must halt indoor operations for certain businesses, such as movie theaters and dining in at restaurants. Bars must also remain closed.
While COVID-19 testing is increasing, with 104,000 tests conducted over a seven-day period, Newsom said the positivity rate is also rising. Just two weeks ago, the statewide positivity rate was 4.9% and is now at 6.8%. The number of hospitalizations reached 5,790, which represents a 50% increase in the last 14 days, and the number of patients in ICUs rose by 39% (1,706) over the same period but decreased 0.3% in a 24-hour period.
On Monday, there continued to be an uptick in hospitalizations in L.A. County, with 1,921 COVID-19 patients hospitalized, 28% of whom were in the ICU and 18% on ventilators.
“This is the highest number that we’ve been reporting over many weeks,” Ferrer said.
In the SCV, about half of the cases are from the Pitchess Detention Center and are expected to be tallied under cases out of Castaic. However, those numbers remain out of alignment, with Castaic reporting a total of 1,799 cases while the jail has 1,807 inmates who have tested positive for COVID-19. The county attributes the discrepancy to delays and technical challenges in adding the Sheriff’s Department’s tallies to the Public Health tallies.
The latest figures from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported Wednesday that 3,273 patients had been tested — many of whom have been tested more than once — with 349 tests returning positive, 3,214 negative and 151 still pending, said Patrick Moody, a spokesman for the hospital. Nineteen people remained in the hospital, an increase of six from the previous week, while 110 had since recovered and been discharged, Moody added.
The number of SCV cases, including all area health care providers’ daily figures and those at Pitchess Detention Center, totaled 3,370 Monday, which, broken down into region, are as follows:
City of Santa Clarita: 1,345
Unincorporated – Acton: 29
Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 14
Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 1
Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 50
Unincorporated – Castaic: 1,799 (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: 6
Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 0
Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 76
Unincorporated – Val Verde: 33
Unincorporated – Valencia: 13
To view all coronavirus-related stories, visit signalscv.com/category/news/coronavirus.
Signal Staff Writer Tammy Murga contributed to this report.