Ferrer ‘cautiously optimistic’ as cases, hospitalizations drop, but urges residents to do their part

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Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Monday she is “cautiously optimistic” with a recent decline in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations countywide, but warned that residents must continuously follow safety measures to see additional drops. 

At the beginning of July, the county averaged about 1,900 hospitalizations and saw a “precipitous climb” mid-month to about 2,200 admissions. That average now stands at less than 2,000 a day, said Ferrer.  

Similarly, the average daily new COVID-19 diagnoses reached about 2,300 cases at the start of July, then increased to more than 3,000 before ending the month with about 2,500 cases. Deaths increased from 30 to 34 per day, but Ferrer said with hospitalizations and cases decreasing, deaths are expected to drop. 

“Though we tragically continue to see our family, friends and neighbors die as a result of COVID-19, we do hope because we’re seeing the number of people hospitalized stabilize that we’ll start to see fewer people passing away,” she said during a live county broadcast. “A large reason why we’re seeing the decline is because residents heard the warning. We need to be able to limit the spread of COVID-19 for many, many weeks to come, and we need to do this while we move forward on a recovery journey.”

Public Health officials reported Monday 1,634 new cases and 12 new deaths countywide, totalling 193,788 and 4,701, respectively. The low numbers are attributed to a reporting lag and are expected to rise Tuesday, said Ferrer. 

In the Santa Clarita Valley, 28 COVID-19 cases were reported in the last 24 hours, with 27 coming from the city of Santa Clarita, along with one in Newhall. Over the weekend, the valley saw a total of 57 new diagnoses and two new deaths on Saturday, which brought the local death count to 48. 

Statewide updates

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 cases is now at 7,764 statewide, which shows an approximately 21.2% decline from 9,859 when last reported a week ago.

California has also begun to see a decline in the rate of hospitalizations, which was increasing by 50% just weeks ago and has now decreased by 10% over a 14-day period, Newsom added.

In addition, the state’s positivity rate for those tested has also declined, from 8% at its peak to 6.1% over a seven-day period.

“It’s not where it needs to be — it’s still too high — but again, it is good to see this number trending down, not trending up,” Newsom said. “(These are) encouraging signs, but one week does not make the kind of trend that gives us confidence. … We’ll need to see another few weeks of this kind of data to come in to feel more confident about where we are as a state.” 

SCV case breakdown

To date, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital has conducted 5,403 tests since the onset of the pandemic. Of those individuals tested — many of whom are tested more than once — 664 returned positive, 5,927 were negative and 177 remain outstanding, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody. 

A total of 191 people have recovered and returned home, while 18 remained in the hospital Saturday, a drop of seven individuals since Thursday. The hospital has had a total of 20 COVID-19 related deaths, which include the two reported Saturday, Moody added. 

The number of SCV cases, including all area health care providers’ daily figures and those at Pitchess Detention Center, totaled 4,460 Monday, broken down into region, are as follows: 

City of Santa Clarita: 2,228

Unincorporated – Acton: 45

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 20

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 1

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 82

Unincorporated – Castaic: 1,858 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 1

Unincorporated – Newhall: 6

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 5

Unincorporated – Saugus: 14

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 1

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 120

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 44

Unincorporated – Valencia: 35

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

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