Public Health makes last-minute plea to avoid New Year’s gatherings


The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health held a press briefing Thursday to make a last-minute plea for county residents to avoid New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day gatherings.

The plea comes one day after L.A. County surpassed 10,000 COVID-19-related deaths and Southern California’s intensive care unit available capacity remained at 0.0% for the second week in a row. 

“We need everyone to stay home and celebrate the new year with your intermediate family or the people in your household,” Ferrer said. “All it takes is one gathering — one get-together — and an entire family could become exposed to COVID-19.”

Ferrer announced an update to virus death-related data, saying 86% of people who have died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions, decreasing from 90%, which Ferrer said suggests more people are dying who don’t have underlying health conditions.

She added hospitalizations in people ages 18-49 have increased 350% since November.

Public Health officials also again asked businesses to allow employees to work from home when possible, and asked those who have traveled outside of the county — for either business reasons or for leisure — to quarantine for 10 days after returning.

“We’re also asking businesses to take the necessary extra steps  to be in compliance with the stay-at-home order and public health protocols,” Ferrer said. “Ask your employees to quarantine before returning to work if they’ve traveled over the holidays.”

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

ICU capacity for Southern California: 0.0%

New COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County in the past 24 hours: 15,129

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 770,602

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported: 290, with the high number of new deaths reflecting a backlog associated with the Spectrum service outage and holiday weekend delays.

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 10,345

Hospitalizations countywide: 7,546; 20% of whom are in the ICU.

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Dec. 30: 88, with 672 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 305, 234 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 16,812

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 117

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: 11,849

Unincorporated – Acton: 268

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 135

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 25

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 494

Unincorporated – Castaic: 2,929 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 22

Unincorporated – Newhall: 56

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 6

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 10

Unincorporated – Saugus: 88

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 26

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 619

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 184

Unincorporated – Valencia: 101

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