Highest number of daily deaths reported in L.A. County since onset of pandemic


Los Angeles County officials reported the highest number of deaths on record due to the COVID-19 outbreak Wednesday. They also announced the average number of deaths per day had risen to 69. 

While the county reported record high numbers, the Santa Clarita Valley also saw a record setting day in terms of new cases, with  a record 383 new cases having been reported in the past 24 hours within the SCV. 

Within the past 24 hours, there were 16,525 positive cases reported, and 145 new deaths related to COVID-19, according to Los Angeles County Public Health officials. The county is reporting a 467% increase in daily deaths from Nov. 9. 

This brings the total number of cases within the county to 663,954 and the total number of deaths to 9,153.

“I am very worried today that there are thousands of L.A. residents whose actions are contributing to hospitalizations and deaths,” said Los Angeles County Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

Ferrer also gave updates on the COVID-19 vaccine as well on Wednesday, saying that 38,850 health care professionals within Los Angeles County have already been vaccinated with an estimated 406,000 medical professionals eligible for vaccination in Phase 1A. 

Ferrer said that 131,625 Pfizer doses have either been received or are en route, and 116,600 Moderna vaccines have arrived this week. 

Health officials also took time to warn people concerning the possibility of being scammed by private individuals promising a vaccine by going door to door or calling residents directly. Officials said residents should be on the lookout for these types of scams and should be in direct contact with their health care provider concerning when they’ll be available to receive the vaccine. 

The county remains in phase 1A, meaning vaccines are being distributed to health care professionals within Los Angeles County, and the general public has not yet been given access. 

Officials said countywide hospital admissions may reach 7,500 COVID-19 patients by Jan. 1. According to California Public Health, intensive care unit capacity remained at 0.0% as of Wednesday. 

“ICU beds continue, as they have been throughout the pandemic, to be our biggest concern,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, director of the Department of Health Services. “There are 2,500 licensed adult ICU beds in the county. Currently half of these beds are filled with COVID-19 patients.”

Ghaly said that number could reach 1,800 or higher by Jan. 1, and that Los Angeles County will “not be able to sustain the increases predicted by the model if they come to fruition.”

“What you do now over the holiday will undoubtedly impact our hospitals,” said Ghaly. “Though the true impact will not be seen for about two or three weeks.” 

County, state and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital officials reported the following updates as of Wednesday:

Southern California available ICU capacity: 0.0%

Hospitalizations countywide: 6,155, 20% of whom are in the ICU.

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Dec. 23: 90, with 590 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 383, of which 285 came from the city of Santa Clarita.

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 14,744

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 102, including one death reported by Henry Mayo 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: 10,204

Unincorporated – Acton: 225

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 113

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 22

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 433

Unincorporated – Castaic: 2,792 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 21

Unincorporated – Newhall: 51

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 4

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 8

Unincorporated – Saugus: 72

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 21

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 522

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 161

Unincorporated – Valencia: 95

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

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