Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported another COVID-19 death Thursday, as Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials announced upcoming changes to the county’s health officer order regarding “mega” events.
These events are defined by Public Health as those with crowds of more than 5,000 attendees indoors and 10,000 outdoors, like music festivals, parades and sporting events.
Beginning Friday, those attending indoor or outdoor mega events who cannot provide proof of full vaccination must present proof of negative test from within 24 hours prior to admission if receiving an antigen test or 48 hours prior if receiving a PCR test.
This is a change only in the time frame from previous requirements, which allowed the results of any test within 72 hours prior to admission, according to Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.
Aligning with the state, the county’s travel guidance is set to continue to recommend those traveling into L.A. County get tested for COVID-19 within 3-5 days of arrival.
Public Health also provided updates on the Omicron variant, as the county confirmed an additional 12 Omicron cases Thursday.
Emerging data suggests that while there is no evidence yet that Omicron causes more severe illness than other variants, Omicron is more transmissible than other variants, according to Ferrer.
The vaccine effectiveness with a booster is reportedly 70-75% against Omicron versus 30-40% without a booster, per Public Health.
“Given what we know Omicron does pose a significant threat to our community and L.A.,” Ferrer said during a media briefing Thursday. “Based on the data collected today, we anticipate that Omicron will circulate more widely in L.A. County in the very near future, leading to many more cases over a short period of time, particularly given increased gatherings and travel over the winter holiday.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimate Omicron makes up approximately 3% of the COVID-19 cases nationwide. To date, L.A. County has confirmed 30 cases of Omicron, while 48 cases have been reported in California as a whole, and 319 in the U.S.
Locally, the COVID-19 death is the fourth reported by Henry Mayo this week, bringing the hospital’s total since the onset of the pandemic to 188, according to spokesman Patrick Moody.
Public Health officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Thursday:
Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 2,275
Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,553,366
New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 20
Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 27,388
Hospitalizations countywide: 770
Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Dec. 16: 23, with 1,680 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.
COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 60, 46 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.
Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 39,902
Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of Dec. 15: 367
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of Dec. 5: 77.0%*
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of Dec. 5: 73.6%*
*These figures now include all eligible Los Angeles County residents ages 5 and older.