County Public Health calls COVID numbers ‘real and alarming’


L.A. County Department of Public Health officials provided daily COVID-19 updates during a briefing Monday, with the city of Santa Clarita listed as one of the 15 cities in the county with the highest rates of new diagnoses.

In a list showing the top-15 cities in the county with increasing rates of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population, Santa Clarita was listed No. 11 of the county’s 88 cities, with the SCV area reporting 16 new cases as of Monday. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the cities on this list were being closely monitored by the department.

“We’re always watching daily case count but what is more important is the issue of capacity, and how do cases translate to hospital stays,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth. “We still have plenty of capacity at local hospitals, and it’s important to remember currently nearly 25% of cumulative cases in SCV have been attributed to the local correctional faciliy. It’s important to look at the overall picture, but we’re going to keep tracking the cases with health officials.”

The daily cases for COVID-19 have significantly increased, according to Ferrer, adding the average daily count has nearly doubled from 750 cases per day in October to more than 1,400 as of Monday.

“This isn’t because of a backlog,” Ferrer said “These are real and alarming numbers. We’re worried now that the weather is getting cooler, there will be an overwhelming increase in hospitalizations.”

Ferrer also advised those who attended gatherings or protests as a result of the election to quarantine, as they could have been exposed to the virus since community transmission is widespread in the county.

Gov. Gavin Newsom also provided an update on statewide COVID-19 numbers during a separate briefing Monday, which showed an increase in daily case count, averaging to more than 5,000 cases reported a day.

“Our case numbers have been trending up,” Newsom said. “The seven-day average is 5,889 and (on Sunday), the number came in at over 7,000.”

Newsom added the case count had significantly decreased in October, when the state saw an average of 3,000 cases per day, but the recent numbers are beginning to reflect the high case count the state had during the summer.

The state positivity rate as of Monday was at 3.7%, which Newsom compared to the positivity rate on Oct. 19, which he said was about 2.5% and equates to a 1.2% increase within the past three weeks.

“We are not ashamed of testing people,” Newsom said. “We want to see more tests, and we’re getting close to around 200,000 daily tests, which would be a record number of tests which is aided by this new state lab, PerkinElmer.”

PerkinElmer opened a testing lab in Valencia last week, which Newsom said during the briefing is just getting started as it is conducting about 1,000 tests a day and has done about 40,000 cumulative tests since the lab opened.

Cities on the county’s watch list were:

  • Pacoima
  • Sun Valley
  • Palmdale/Lancaster
  • Unincorporated East Los Angeles
  • Van Nuys
  • El Monte
  • Downey
  • Pomona
  • North Hollywood
  • Glendale
  • Santa Clarita
  • South Gate
  • Florence-Firestone
  • Canoga Park
  • Panorama City

Public Health also released the following updated COVID-19 figures Monday, as one additional death was reported in the Santa Clarita Valley over the weekend, bringing the death toll to 77:

Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 1,431

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 323,625

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 5

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 7,177

Hospitalizations countywide: 855; 29% of whom are in the ICU and 15% on ventilators.

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Nov. 9: 21, with 321 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 16, 10 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 7,767

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 77

The numbers 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: 4,743

Unincorporated – Acton: 92

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 44

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 10

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 179

Unincorporated – Castaic: 2,224 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 6

Unincorporated – Newhall: 29

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 2

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 7

Unincorporated – Saugus: 39

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 12

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 221

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 106

Unincorporated – Valencia: 53
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