Public Health outlines new private gathering requirements

Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control.
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Private gatherings of certain sizes will be permitted beginning Thursday in L.A. County, while large gatherings — excluding people in houses of worship or at public protests — remain prohibited, L.A. County Public Health officials said Wednesday. 

The change comes after state officials changed their COVID-19 guidelines last week in relation to gatherings. Beginning Thursday in L.A. County, gatherings of three or fewer households are allowed, said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Public Health Department. 

“It is recommended that if you do gather with two other households, you do so with the same households each time, creating a quasi-bubble,” said Ferrer. “That can reduce the risk of spreading.”

Ferrer once again recommended that people wear masks during the gatherings and that if people do feel ill, that they should not participate in these group activities. 

Additionally, Ferrer warned, on the heels of the L.A. Lakers clinching their 17th NBA championship, that if people went to celebrate with people outside their household, that they should be aware they could have been exposed to the coronavirus. 

“If you were in a crowd with non-household members, especially if people weren’t wearing their face coverings and were chanting, cheering or singing, you may have been exposed to COVID-19,” said Ferrer. 

She reminded people the virus can spread, even between people who are not showing any symptoms at the time.

“If you attended one of these gatherings, it’s very important that you stay away from other people, especially from those at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 and monitor yourself for symptoms for the full 14 days from your exposure.”

Since the county has allowed schools to return students to campus that are considered “high-need,” such as special education and English learners, 837 schools have opted to offer in-person education to these students, totaling 17,000 students and 11,000 staff. 

These numbers have included some Santa Clarita Valley schools.

In total, 62 applications for waivers for TK-2 students to return to campus have been received by the county. However, a number of them were incomplete. Thirty schools per week will be allowed once the county decides that the general population is able to return at those specific school sites. 

In Los Angeles County within the last day, 22 deaths have been related to COVID-19. Of those, five people were over the age of 80, seven were between the ages of 65-75, five were between 50-64, one was between the ages of 30-49 and one person was between the ages of 18 and 29. 

Both the person who died in the 18-29 age range and the person who died in the 30-49 age range did not have underlying conditions. 

These latest numbers bring the total number of COVD-19-related deaths in L.A. County to 6,812. In the last day, there were also 1,329 new cases and 285,016 total cases. 

The Santa Clarita Valley, in both unincorporated and incorporated communities, saw an increase of 58 cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of local cases to 6,659. 

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: 3,864

Unincorporated – Acton: 78

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 30

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 10

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 158

Unincorporated – Castaic: 2,132 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 4

Unincorporated – Newhall: 14

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 7

Unincorporated – Saugus: 28

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 10

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 185

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 88

Unincorporated – Valencia: 51

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