COVID-19: SoCal region’s ICU capacity plunges to 1.7%, Henry Mayo reports another death


The Southern California region’s intensive care unit capacity continued its decline Tuesday, dropping to just 1.7%, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported an additional death, bringing the Santa Clarita Valley COVID-19 death toll to 93.

Also, L.A. County Public Health Department officials reported more than 11,000 new COVID-19 cases and 86 deaths on Tuesday as the coronavirus spread continues to surge.

Though the region’s stay-at-home order is set to expire Dec. 28, unless the ICU capacity improves and returns to the 15% threshold, it is likely the region will remain under the order, until the ICU capacity is projected to remain above 15% for four weeks.

The San Joaquin Valley’s ICU capacity returned to 1.6% after dropping to 0% over the weekend, while the ICU capacity across the state stood at 5.7%, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who explained what it means to have 0% capacity during Tuesday’s COVID-19 update.

“When you hear where it’s 0%, that doesn’t mean we have no ICU beds or staff available at all,” Newsom said. “It means we’re now into a surge approach, (with) surge staffing and surge management, so (the ICU capacity) goes up and goes down by the hour, not just by the day.”

These surge measures include adjusting emergency staffing ratios, as well as deploying more than 500 additional staff across the state, and requesting federal resources from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Disaster Medical Assistance Teams and the Department of Defense for additional medical personnel.

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

Southern California intensive care unit available capacity: 1.7%

COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County: 11,194
Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 543,769

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 86
Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 8,431

Hospitalizations countywide: 4,403; 21% of whom are in the ICU.
Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Dec. 15: 77, with 507 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 157, of which 126 came from the city of Santa Clarita.
Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 12,470
Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 93, including one death reported by Henry Mayo Tuesday.

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: 8,433
Unincorporated – Acton: 183
Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 84
Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 18
Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 358
Unincorporated – Castaic: 2,592 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)
Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 17
Unincorporated – Newhall: 44
Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0
Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 4
Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 8
Unincorporated – Saugus: 59
Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 18
Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 435
Unincorporated – Val Verde: 139
Unincorporated – Valencia: 78

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