Extension of regional stay-at-home order expected; Moderna vaccine authorized


The regional stay-at-home order is expected to be extended past the Dec. 28 expiration date, as a second COVID-19 vaccination was authorized for emergency operation Saturday.

This came as L.A. County announced more than 11,000 new cases of COVID-19 and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital confirmed two more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the total number of local deaths past 100.

During a press conference Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said two regions in California, the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California, are expected to extend the regional stay-at-home order as the listed capacity for intensive care units in Southern California remained at 0.0%.

The order, which required nonessential businesses to close and others to reduce capacity once ICU capacity dipped below 15%, went into effect for Southern California on Dec. 6 and was set to expire on Dec. 28. However, Newsom said the order will likely need an extension as regions continue to see a surge of COVID-19 cases.

“We are likely going to need to extend those regional dates,” Newsom said. “Based upon all the data and based upon all these trend lines, it is very likely based on those current trends that we’ll need to extend that stay-at-home order. You recall (it) was a three-week order when we announced it.”

Newsom did not specify how long the order will be extended and did not provide an end date.

Newsom’s announcement came two days after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the emergency use of the Moderna vaccine Saturday, which is the second COVID-19 vaccine made available for distribution across the country.

During the conference, Newsom said more than 110,000 Moderna vaccine doses arrived in California, and an additional 672,600 are expected later in the week.

Health care workers have already begun receiving vaccinations last week after the Pfizer vaccine was authorized by the FDA as a part of phase 1A. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health director Barbara Ferrer said the next phase of vaccine recipients are being reviewed.

Tier 2 of Phase 1A, which puts frontline health care workers as the top priority of the vaccine, will include health care workers in intermediate care facilities, public health field staff, primary care clinic workers, correctional facility and urgent care clinics as next in line to be vaccinated. Tier 3 includes health care workers in specialty clinics, laboratory workers, oral health clinics and pharmacy staff.

The next phase of the vaccine, named phase 1B, will include people 75 years or older, and frontline essential workers, which include:

  • Firefighters, police officers and sheriff’s deputies.
  • Teachers and school staff.
  • Day care workers.
  • Manufacturing workers.
  • Corrections workers.
  • United States Postal Service workers.
  • Public transit workers.
  • Food and agricultural workers.
  • Grocery store workers.

The following tier, tier 1C, will allow people age 65 or older and anyone over the age of 16 with significant underlying health conditions to be vaccinated.

After the first employee at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital received the vaccination Thursday, hospital spokesman Patrick Moody said an exact number of employees vaccinated Monday morning was not available, but the hospital was expected to use its first allotment of 1,400 vaccines by the end of the day.

Moody added the hospital was adequately staffed in order for health care workers to administer the vaccine while also attending to other duties.

“We are using ‘light-duty’ staff to administer the shots,” Moody said in an email. “Light-duty staff are employees who are unable to work at their regular jobs, generally because of a physical limitation, (such as) a sore back, but are able to give shots. Of course, these are employees, mostly nurses, who have the required clinical competencies to give shots.”

It was unsure if the hospital would be receiving an allotment of the Moderna vaccine, Moody said, but the hospital received a second Pfizer vaccine allotment Monday morning.

“It doesn’t have to be administered immediately as was (the case with) the first allotment,” Moody said. “We are working on our distribution plan for this second allotment now. We will continue to follow Public Health guidelines for distributing the vaccine.”

Public Health also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics, and two additional deaths were reported from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Monday:

New COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County in the past 24 hours: 11,271

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 634,849

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 56

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 8,931

Hospitalizations countywide: 5,709; 21% of whom are in the ICU and 15% on ventilators

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Dec. 21: 84, with 563 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

ICU capacity for Southern California: 0.0%

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 255, 193 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita. 

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 14,112

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 101, including two 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: 9,733

Unincorporated – Acton: 216

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 105

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 21

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 407

Unincorporated – Castaic: 2,717 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 18

Unincorporated – Newhall: 51

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 4

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 8

Unincorporated – Saugus: 64

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 21

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 501

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 153

Unincorporated – Valencia: 93

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

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