Pediatric COVID-19 cases declining in L.A. County

Intensive Care Unit nurse Kathy Brady looks on as Pharmacist, Courtney Mattley, left, draws the first dose of Pfizer BioNTech, Covid-19 vaccine before administering it to Brady at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia on Thursday, 121720. Dan Watson/The Signal

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Thursday that COVID-19 cases among children have declined or remained even, following the pattern seen in the county’s adult population. 

“Children under 18 comprised on average 27% of all cases seen in L.A. County in the last week’s worth of data,” said Barbara Ferrer, the department’s director, noting a 30% decline in pediatric cases over the past two weeks. 

Ferrer said this data represents a different story compared to the stories told by data coming from other parts of the country. 

“These declines occurred as many schools reopened with testing, masking, infection control, and outbreak management protocols firmly in place,” she said. 

While case rates among children have decreased, pediatric hospitalization is following a different trend. 

“Hospitalization rates, while nowhere near as high as they were during the winter surge, with the exception of our youngest children, they continue to go up slightly,” said Ferrer, noting seven children have died due to COVID-19 in Los Angeles County. 

Since the start of the school year, approximately 1,200 school staff members and 8,000 student COVID-19 cases have been reported in Los Angeles County. Ferrer said that not all cases are a result of on-campus transmission. 

She reported that 62% of 12- to 15-years-olds in Los Angeles County had received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 51% were fully vaccinated, as of Sept. 5.  

Among 16- to 17-year-olds in the county, 69% have received at least one dose and 59% are fully vaccinated. 

“Increasing these numbers is a critical part of our strategy for keeping schools open,” she said. “Widespread vaccination would dramatically reduce transmission in all settings, particularly at schools.” 

The county recently started publishing vaccination data by school district. As of Aug. 29, 67.9% of 12- to 18-year-olds in the William S. Hart Union High School District had received at least one dose of the vaccine. 

The White House, during a press briefing Thursday, said school districts would always have the final say on determination about COVID-19 vaccine mandates. 

At Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, an additional COVID-19-related death announced Thursday brough the hospital’s COVID-19 death count to 162 people. The hospital also reported a COVID-19 death on Wednesday. 

Henry Mayo does not have a pediatric unit. 

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

Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 2,218 

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,425,806 

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 49 

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 25,563 

Hospitalizations countywide: 1,385, 30% of whom are in the ICU.   

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Sept. 9: 32, with 1,462 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.   

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 47, 37 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita 

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV as of Sept. 9: 34,392  

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of Sept. 7: 319 

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of Sept. 2: 75.6%   

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of Sept. 2: 72.0%                                                                       

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