COVID-19: Surge continues with high number of cases, deaths


Los Angeles County Public Health officials announced Wednesday the high numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue, with more than 1,500 deaths reported in the last week countywide.

The average of hospitalizations has also increased from approximately 800 two months ago to nearly 8,000, per Public Health.

“This influx of COVID-19 patients at our hospitals, is just not letting up,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “At all of our hospitals, our frontline health care workers have been at this not just for weeks, but now for many months. They’re exhausted, and yet, the spread of this virus continues. They need your help, and they need a break. We all need to spend the next three weeks taking extreme precautions and safety measures to prevent spreading this infection. We need to stay home, wear face coverings, wash our hands, avoid contact with others all the time, every day. Do it as if your life, or that of a loved one, depends upon it because it just may.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom also announced Wednesday the state is immediately allowing anyone 65 and older to get the vaccine, though those in phase 1A, which includes health care workers and long-term care residents, remain the highest priority to receive vaccines, as demand for the vaccines continues to far exceed supply.

“There is no higher priority than efficiently and equitably distributing these vaccines as quickly as possible to those who face the gravest consequences,” Newsom said in a prepared statement. “Individuals 65 and older are now the next group eligible to start receiving vaccines. To those not yet eligible for vaccines, your turn is coming. We are doing everything we can to bring more vaccine into the state.”

Those 65 and older are asked to coordinate with their health care providers to understand when vaccines will be available, according to state Public Health officials.

This comes after state Public Health officials expanded access to the vaccine to all health care workers last week, relaxed guidelines for unused doses, expanded the pool of those able to vaccinate and continued to set up mass distribution sites across the state — all with the goal of speeding up the rollout of the vaccine.

L.A. County Public Health officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Wednesday:

ICU available capacity for Southern California: 0.0%

New COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County in the past 24 hours: 14,564
Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 958,497

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported: 281
Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 12,995

Hospitalizations countywide: 7,949; 22% of whom are in the ICU.
Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Jan. 12: 98, with 827 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: To be released Wednesday afternoon.
Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV as of Jan. 12: 20,285
Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of Jan. 12: 148, with two additional deaths 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: 14,614
Unincorporated – Acton: 332
Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 170
Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 32
Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 593
Unincorporated – Castaic: 3,173 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)
Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 33
Unincorporated – Newhall: 57
Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0
Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 11
Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 10
Unincorporated – Saugus: 101
Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 27
Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 778
Unincorporated – Val Verde: 225
Unincorporated – Valencia: 129

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