COVID cases decline 85% but could climb after Super Bowl, Valentine’s Day weekends

Abi Levine, left, and Kimberly Lutz, right, enjoy an outdoor meal away from any Super Bowl celebrations at a Newhall restaurant Sunday afternoon. February 07, 2021. Bobby Block / The Signal.

Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County have declined 85% since earlier this month, but Public Health officials warned residents Wednesday to take precautions as figures connected to the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day weekends could rise. 

The average cases per day as of Feb. 9 marked 2,230, but numbers still remain higher than the numbers seen in the fall, according to Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer during a media briefing. She also reported four additional cases of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7. (U.K. variant), totaling 12 cases in the county. 

“While we all share cautious optimism, we do remain concerned that actions over Super Bowl weekend and this past holiday weekend could lead to another increase in cases that we should start to see next week if individuals (are) not taking the precautions,” she said. 

Just before Super Bowl weekend, Public Health officials ordered restaurants, which were recently allowed to reopen for outdoor eating following the state’s move to lift the regional stay-at-home order, to operate without turning on their televisions to avoid crowds from gathering. On Wednesday, Ferrer said the department is still looking into the effects of that weekend, and has not yet decided on when eateries can turn on their televisions again. 

COVID-19, which is a part of the coronavirus family, could stay prevalent like the flu, said Ferrer, adding that it “may be here with us for a while to come, and we should be prepared to need, if that’s the case, routine vaccinations.” 

To date, the county has administered a total of 1.54 million COVID-19 vaccines, 1.14 million of which are first doses and nearly 400,000 are second doses. Of that figure, 38% of residents 65 and older have received their first dose, 14.6% of those ages 15 and up have also received their first dose. About 5.1% are fully inoculated, according to Public Health. 

The county received 219,000 new doses last week and “more vaccines continue to come into our county,” Ferrer said, adding that the priority “is going to be to guarantee those second doses of vaccines to people who are required to get that second dose vaccination.” 

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Wednesday:

New COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County in the past 24 hours: 2,394

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,171,664

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported: 162

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 19,368

Hospitalizations countywide: 2,855; 31% of whom are in the ICU.

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Feb. 17: 17, with 1,126 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 60, 47 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita. 

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 25,317

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV: 243 as of Feb. 17, Henry Mayo reported 2 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: 18,543

Unincorporated – Acton: 425

Unincorporated – Agua Dulce: 246

Unincorporated – Bouquet Canyon: 42

Unincorporated – Canyon Country: 756

Unincorporated – Castaic: 3,529 (majority of Castaic cases come from Pitchess Detention Center, exact number unavailable)

Unincorporated – Lake Hughes: 40

Unincorporated – Newhall: 66

Unincorporated – Placerita Canyon: 0

Unincorporated – San Francisquito Canyon/Bouquet Canyon: 14

Unincorporated – Sand Canyon: 15

Unincorporated – Saugus: 126

Unincorporated – Saugus/Canyon Country: 35

Unincorporated – Stevenson Ranch: 1,007

Unincorporated – Val Verde: 302

Unincorporated – Valencia: 171

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