Ferrer: Residents have ‘tough choices’ for holidays amid ‘troubling’ COVID surge

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

Los Angeles County Public Health officials said Thursday residents have tough choices to make ahead of holiday plans as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to increase at a “troubling” rate. 

In the last 24 hours, the county saw more than 2,500 new diagnoses and 50 new hospitalizations, totaling 330,450 and 953, respectively.  

“After a long period of stabilization hospitalizations are now also on the rise,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer during a county briefing Thursday. “On Oct. 3, an average of 682 people were hospitalized. We haven’t seen average hospitalizations above 800 since Sept. 11. But this past week, we’re reporting multiple days in hospitalizations over 900.” 

Hospitalizations are expected to rise but not at the sharp rate as daily COVID-19 case numbers, according to Health Services Director Christina Ghaly. 

Even with a projected increase, the current and available number of hospital beds, including medical and ICU beds and ventilators, are “expected to be adequate over the next four weeks,” she added. Those who are admitted are also not staying in the hospital for longer periods, which could be because patients are younger with fewer underlying health conditions and the availability of more approved treatments, according to Ghaly. 


With a new surge in cases, Ferrer said L.A. County can expect to remain in the state’s most restrictive tier “for the next few weeks” and with the holidays and winter season ahead, residents will be faced with “very tough choices” to make. 

“As Dr. Ghaliy pointed out, we have good news on the vaccine front,” she said. “But we’ve got to get through the next few months and we’ve got to do so without spreading this virus even more than it’s spreading now. So, yes I want everyone to think hard about their Thanksgiving plans.” 

Warnings come as the county updated its health officer order on private gatherings, where only three or fewer households can convene outdoors only. 

“This is certainly harder to do in colder weather, but not impossible,” said Ferrer. 

Los Angeles County Public Health officials released the following updated COVID-19 figures Thursday:

Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 2,533

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 330,450

Daily positivity rate (seven-day average): 5.9%

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 7

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 7,221

Hospitalizations countywide: 953; 28% of whom are in the ICU.

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Nov. 11: 16, with 328 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 94, 70 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 8,028

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 79, 2 new deaths reported Wednesday. 

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: 4,950 

Unincorporated – Acton: 93

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 46

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 11

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 186

Unincorporated – Castaic: 2,245 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 8

Unincorporated – Newhall: 30

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 3

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 7

Unincorporated – Saugus: 43

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 12

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 229

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 110

Unincorporated – Valencia: 55

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

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