SoCal dips below ICU threshold; COVID-19 surge continues, state order looms


The Southern California region slipped below the state’s intensive care capacity threshold on Friday, a day before the state’s new regional stay-at-home order is set to take effect as L.A. County continued to report record-high numbers of new COVID-19 cases.

According to the state Public Health Department as of Friday evening, the Southern California region’s intensive care unit available capacity had fallen to 13.1% — just below the 15% threshold for a more strict stay-at-home order. “Today’s data is for informational purposes only as the order does not take effect until Dec. 5, 2020 at 12:59 p.m.,” read the state’s Public Health website.

No specific action had been announced toward enforcing a new shutdown order as of Friday night. 

Meanwhile, L.A. County Public Health officials reported the highest number of COVID-19 diagnoses to date — marking the third time this week county officials have hit that milestone — with more than 8,800 new cases in the last 24 hours.

Earlier in the day, county Public Health had reported on its Twitter page: “Southern California Region has 20.6% actual ICU capacity remaining.”

L.A. County has been expected to reach the 15% threshold for the regional order by next week, according to Christina Ghaly, L.A. County Health Services director, as Public Health reported 8,860 cases within 24 hours Friday.

Five counties within the Bay Area region announced a preemptive stay-at-home order Friday that will go into effect within the next few days. County officials are implementing the stay-at-home order before the threshold is met in hopes of avoiding overwhelming ICUs. 

San Francisco, Contra Costa, Santa Clara will begin the stay-at-home order Sunday evening. Alameda County’s will begin Monday and Marin County’s will begin Tuesday. All orders will remain in place until Jan. 4.

Public Health officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Friday, with one additional death reported from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, bringing the death count in the SCV to 81:

COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County: 8,860

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 430,583

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 60

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 7,842

Hospitalizations countywide: 2,668; 24% of whom are in the ICU.

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Dec. 4: 52, with 428 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 156, 117 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 10,337

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 81

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: 6,752

Unincorporated – Acton: 134

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 64

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 16

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 264

Unincorporated – Castaic: 2,462 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 13

Unincorporated – Newhall: 36

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 3

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 7

Unincorporated – Saugus: 51

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 15

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 331

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 122

Unincorporated – Valencia: 67

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