County: Further reopening unlikely until October

COVID-19. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control.

Los Angeles County has not yet met the qualifications to move out California’s most restrictive health guidelines Public Health officials said Monday, as nearly 60 schools have applied to reopen for limited on-campus learning. 

Under the state’s new, four-tiered reopening metrics, L.A. County is placed in the“widespread” tier for having more than seven daily new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people and for having more than 8% of tests returning positive. 

“Last week we were at 9.6 cases per 100,000 folks as a daily case rate. So, we need to go down quite a bit still to get to below seven, which is the marker for moving to tier two,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. 

She clarified that moving into the second tier — counties with a “substantial” spread of the virus and that can remain in the tier for 14 days— will “depend a lot on what happened over Labor Day, and then it’s gonna depend on us making every single effort we can to continue to reduce the rates of community transmission.”

Ferrer said officials will not consider further reopening the county until the end of September after looking into Labor Day data. 

“We’ve had significant spikes in cases after the holidays, and that has resulted in us needing to sort of take some steps backward,” she said. “We would probably want to avoid doing that again.”

Those in the “substantial” tier see fewer restrictions, such as increasing indoor capacity from 25% to 50% for hair salons and malls. Counties can maintain stricter restrictions than California’s guidelines, however. In tier two, counties can also allow schools to reopen for on-campus instruction.

Until then, schools in L.A. County can now resume limited on-campus learning for students with individualized education programs, or IEP, and English learners. As of Monday, Public Health had received 59 applications. Every Monday, the list of schools that have submitted applications will be released, according to Ferrer. 

“These schools can expect that our Public Health team of specialists will be in touch to provide technical assistance,” she said. 

L.A. County and SCV case breakdown 

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Monday:

Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 733

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 254,656

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 24

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 6,231

Hospitalizations countywide: 795; 34% of whom are in the ICU, 18% on ventilators

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 35

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 5,656

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 54

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Sept. 9: 12, 240 discharged since the onset of the pandemic. 

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

City of Santa Clarita: 3,208

Unincorporated – Acton: 65

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 25

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 6

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 122

Unincorporated – Castaic: 1,922 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 3

Unincorporated – Newhall: 6

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 6

Unincorporated – Saugus: 27

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 1

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 156

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 67

Unincorporated – Valencia: 42

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