Low COVID-19 figures continue amid holiday delays

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With continued testing delays due to a lag in reporting and less testing availability over the holiday weekend, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials announced 671 additional COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the overall total to 249,859.

Public Health also reported 61 additional deaths related to the virus, bringing the countywide death toll to 6,090.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, 18 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the past 24 hours, 17 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita, along with one in Castaic.

Upon further investigation, Public Health officials found that seven deaths reported earlier were not L.A. County residents, including one reported to Castaic, bringing the death toll in the SCV down to 54.

As of Wednesday, there were 936 confirmed COVID-19 cases hospitalized, 33% of whom were in the ICU and 18% on ventilators, according to Public Health officials.

The seven-day average daily positivity rate has dropped below 5%, which Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said is the lowest it’s been.

“It’s our hope that so many of you were able to see the data that we’ve been showing over our experiences after July 4, where we saw this huge increase in a couple of weeks in our cases, hospitalizations and deaths, and you were able to take to heart the need for us to be much more cautious this past holiday weekend,” Ferrer said. “Celebrations, gatherings, being in large crowds, they’re never intended to harm other people, but they sometimes do result in the transmission of COVID-19, and this, in turn, results in more infections once people return to their homes and/or their workplaces.”

This comes as Public Health officials released guidelines on the upcoming Halloween holiday, recommending trick-or-treating not happen this year also prohibiting gatherings or parties.

“For this year, it’s just simply not safe to celebrate in the ways that we usually do,” Ferrer said. “We know that together we can find lots of ways to celebrate that are safe for children and families.”

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital released its latest figures Wednesday, which showed a total of 7,309 patients had been tested since the start of the pandemic — many of whom are tested more than once — with 817 of those testing returning positive, while 8,342 were negative and 15 remained pending, according to spokesman Patrick Moody. As of Wednesday, a total of 240 COVID-19 patients have been discharged, while 12 remain in the hospital for treatment, Moody added.

The number of SCV cases, including all area health care providers’ daily figures and those at Pitchess Detention Center, totaled 5,532 Tuesday, broken down into region as follows:

City of Santa Clarita: 3,103
Unincorporated – Acton: 65
Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 25
Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 6
Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 118
Unincorporated – Castaic: 1,912 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)
Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 2
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: 155
Unincorporated – Val Verde: 65
Unincorporated – Valencia: 41

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

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