COVID-19: SoCal region’s ICU capacity drops to 2.7%, Henry Mayo reports three deaths


Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported three additional COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the death toll in the Santa Clarita Valley to 92, as the Southern California region’s intensive care unit capacity continued its decline.

The region’s ICU capacity dropped 3.5 points since Friday, with only 2.7% ICU capacity remaining available Monday, as the San Joaquin Valley’s ICU capacity dropped to 0%.

L.A. County Department of Public Health officials considered the likelihood that the state’s regional stay-at-home order could extend past Dec. 28, if the ICU availability remains under 15%.

“Our reality is frightening at the moment, with over 4,200 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and almost half of our ICU beds occupied by COVID patients,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “Many folks may be thinking that this is just not anything to really worry about, because hospitals can just add more beds. The reality is, every bed needs to be staffed by highly trained and skilled health care workers, and we don’t have an endless supply of health care workers, and those that are here saving lives every day are exhausted.”

Though more than 7,000 COVID-19 cases were reported in L.A. County, Monday’s case numbers don’t include those from one of the county’s largest labs, which had reporting delays over the weekend. Ferrer said Public Health expects Tuesday’s numbers to therefore be very high.

Last week marked the highest COVID-19 figures all around since the onset of the pandemic, both countywide and in the Santa Clarita Valley, with record-breaking case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths. In fact, since Dec. 1, the county has surpassed previous all-time highs every day, per Public Health.

The record number of hospitalizations was again broken Monday, as figures increased with what Public Health officials called “disastrous speed,” with those officials expecting to see 5,000 or more hospitalized with COVID-19 by the weekend, Ferrer said.

“If you’re not playing by the rules, to put it bluntly, at this point you’re part of the problem and you’re contributing to distressing increases that we see in cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” Ferrer added.

Public Health officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Monday:

Southern California intensive care unit available capacity: 2.7%

COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County: 7,344
Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 532,730

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 48
Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 8,345

Hospitalizations countywide: 4,203; 21% of whom are in the ICU.
Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Dec. 14: 74, with 479 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 169, of which 145 came from the city of Santa Clarita.
Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 12,313
Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 92, including three deaths reported by Henry Mayo Monday.

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: 8,307
Unincorporated – Acton: 177
Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 83
Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 18
Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 354
Unincorporated – Castaic: 2,586 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)
Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 17
Unincorporated – Newhall: 43
Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0
Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 4
Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 7
Unincorporated – Saugus: 58
Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 18
Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 424
Unincorporated – Val Verde: 139
Unincorporated – Valencia: 78

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