COVID-19: LA County hospitalizations increase as Henry Mayo reports three new deaths

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On the first day under the regional stay-at-home order, Los Angeles County Public Health Department officials reported Monday a peak in COVID-19 hospitalizations, as three new virus-related deaths were reported at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. 

There are currently a total of 2,988 admissions related to COVID-19, placing the county at a 75% overall bed capacity, according to Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, who estimated hospitalizations to reach 4,000 over the next 14 days. Monday’s figure of nearly 3,000 admissions surpassed the July peak of more than 2,200. 

“While we know we’re going to see significant increases for the next two to three weeks, it can turn itself around at the moment we all start getting back into the game,” said Ferrer. 

Henry Mayo reported Monday a total of 65 COVID-19 hospitalizations, an increase of 13 admissions since Thursday, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody. As of Monday, hospital officials did not have a hard number or percentage of bed capacity, including ICU capacity, because they did not immediately have the information, Moody confirmed. 

Henry Mayo’s Dr. Larry Kidd is expected to address the question on capacity during a Facebook live briefing at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, which will be available on The Signal’s Facebook page. 

Statewide, numbers are also rising. Gov. Gavin Newsom reported Monday 10,070 hospitalizations and 2,360 intensive care unit admissions, a 72% increase and a 69% increase over 14 days, respectively. 

As of Sunday night, the Southern California region had a 10.9% remaining capacity for intensive care units, which was below the state’s 15% threshold. Southern California is the area with the second-lowest capacity among the five designated regions in the state. San Joaquin Valley reached 6.3%, according to Newsom.

Los Angeles County reported more than 8,000 new COVID-19 cases as the state reported more than 24,700, figures that now reflect the effects of possible Thanksgiving gatherings, according to Ferrer and California Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly. 

“We know that those cases that occurred around people’s potentially dinner tables or activities and travel through Thanksgiving are going to show up right about now,” said Ghaly, adding, “We know we’ll be seeing that for many days to come.” 

“I would say this is the start of the Thanksgiving bump but that would make sense usually if you look, our cases start going up a couple of weeks after the holiday,” said Ferrer, confirming that she was aware of illegal holiday gatherings. The department works off of tips and visits sites to inform people “to please not hold an event or a party or a gathering because it’s illegal or law enforcement generally is called in at that point that there’s a large party to try to enforce people to close that party.” 

Newsom also announced Monday a voluntary smartphone app, dubbed “CA Notify,” that’s designed to slow the spread of the virus by anonymously alerting people when they’ve come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The app, which the governor said does not track people’s identities or locations, is expected to become available to users Thursday. Via Bluetooth, the app sends signals when two cellphones are within 6 feet apart for at least 15 minutes and sends notifications to the person of contact when one tests positive. 

Officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics for the county Monday: 

COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County: 8,086, a tally of 57 cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents. 

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 457,937

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 27

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 7,936

Hospitalizations countywide: 2,988; 24% of whom are in the ICU.

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Dec. 7: 65, with 439 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 153, of which 120 came from the city of Santa Clarita.

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 10,929

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 84, with three additional reported Monday at Henry Mayo.

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: 7,219

Unincorporated – Acton: 148

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 67

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 16

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 295

Unincorporated – Castaic: 2,492 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 17

Unincorporated – Newhall: 39

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 4

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 7

Unincorporated – Saugus: 52

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 17

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 357

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 128

Unincorporated – Valencia: 71

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