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SCVNews.com | Friday COVID-19 Roundup: 72% of New L.A. County Cases are Younger People

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Friday reported 46 new deaths due to COVID-19 and 1,759 new cases of the virus, with 72% of the new cases confirmed in people younger than 50 years old.

One of the new deaths was a resident between 18 and 29 years old, according to Public Health officials.

In the Santa Clarita Valley, the agency has reported a total of 5,139 confirmed COVID cases (50 more than reported Thursday) and 52 deaths since the pandemic began, with residents of the city of Santa Clarita accounting for 41 of the SCV fatalities.

To date, Public Health has identified 229,054 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 5,491 deaths.

Right now, there are 1,347 people with confirmed cases hospitalized in the county, with 32% of them in the ICU.

Test results are now available for more than 2,154,000 L.A. County residents, with 10% of all people testing positive.

“Our hearts go out to the many families who are experiencing the sadness of losing a love one to this pandemic,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, director of Public Health.

Ferrer added that the death of another adult younger than 29 “is a reminder that the risk for having negative outcomes due to COVID-19 is for all ages. No matter how young you are, this virus can be deadly. We continue to see more young people drive new infections and have more severe adverse health outcomes to COVID-19 including children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

“We must continue to work together to lower transmission among people of all ages, so please continue to wear a face covering, stay home when sick, wash hands frequently, and do not gather with people you don’t live with,” she said.

9 New Cases of MIS-C in Children
Public Health is reporting nine additional cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, bringing the total cases of MIS-C in L.A. County to 25 children.

Twenty-eight percent of these cases were between the ages of 0 and 5 years old, 44% were between 6 and 12 years old, and 28% were between 13 and 20 years old. The majority of cases (68%) were Latino/Latinx.

No children with MIS-C in L.A. County have died.

MIS-C is a condition that affects children younger than 21 years old across the country who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or had COVID-19. Different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs and there can be lifelong health impacts.

Public Health advises physicians to consider for MIS-C in their patient children under 21 years old and to notify the department immediately of any cases. (More on MIS-C statewide later in this report.)

California Friday Snapshot
Statewide, as of Thursday, August 20, the California Department of Public Health confirmed a total of 650,336 COVID-19 cases (up 5,585), with 11,821 deaths from the disease (up 135). There are 4,772 confirmed hospitalizations and 1,533 ICU hospitalizations in the state.

California’s 7-day positivity rate is 6.4% and the 14-day positivity rate is 6.5%.

As of August 18, local health departments have reported 29,605 confirmed positive cases in healthcare workers and 145 deaths statewide.

Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed.

COVID Around the World: USA #1 in Cases, Deaths
Worldwide, 22,803,344 people have been infected by COVID-19 while 796,095 people have died as of 2:28 Friday afternoon, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

More than 5,615,998 Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while the number of people in the U.S. who have died due to the virus has surpassed 175,204.

The United States has the highest case and death rate in the world. By comparison, Brazil, at #2, had confirmed 3.5 million cases and 112,304 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon.

Santa Clarita Valley Friday Update
The L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 data dashboard as of the latest update at 8 p.m. Wednesday confirms 52 SCV residents have died of the virus since the pandemic began.

Of the dead, 41 lived in the city of Santa Clarita, 4 in Castaic, 2 in Acton, 2 in Stevenson Ranch, 1 in unincorporated Bouquet Canyon, 1 in Val Verde, and 1 in unincorporated Valencia.

Of the 5,139 cases reported to Public Health among SCV residents to date, the community breakdown is as follows:

City of Santa Clarita: 2,777

Castaic: 1,883 (most from Pitchess Detention Center and North County Correctional Facility*)

Stevenson Ranch: 143

Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 111

Acton: 58

Val Verde: 56

Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 39

Agua Dulce: 24

Saugus (unincorporated portion): 22

Bouquet Canyon: 6

Elizabeth Lake: 6

Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 6

Sand Canyon: 5

Lake Hughes: 2

Saugus/Canyon Country: 1

*Note: The county is unable to break out separate numbers for Castaic and PDC/NCCF because the county uses geotagging software that cannot be changed at this time, according to officials. Click here for the LASD COVID-19 dashboard.

Henry Mayo Friday Update
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported its 21st COVID-related death on Friday, August 7, according to Patrick Moody, hospital spokesman. Due to privacy constraints, the hospital does not disclose patients’ cities of residence.

Henry Mayo now releases statistics weekly, on Wednesdays, unless there is a drastic change in the number of cases or a COVID-related death has been confirmed.

As of Wednesday, August 19, of the 6,236 people tested at Henry Mayo to date, 748 tested positive, 7,075 were negative, 22 were pending, 7 patients were hospitalized in a dedicated unit receiving ICU-level care (down from 9 the previous Wednesday and 25 the week before that), and a total of 226 COVID-19 patients have been discharged so far. Fatalities at the hospital stand at 21, Moody confirmed.

Discrepancies in the testing numbers are due to some patients being tested multiple times. “Often a single patient is tested more than once,” Moody said.

L.A. County Demographics
Of the 46 new deaths reported Friday, 18 people who died (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena) were over the age of 80 years old, 15 people were between 65 and 79 years old, nine people were between 50 and 64 years old, two people were between 30 and 49 years old, and one person was between 18 and 29 years old.

Thirty-five people had underlying health conditions including 14 people over 80 years old, 13 people between 65 and 79 years old, six people between 50 and 64 years old, one person between 30 and 49 years old, and one person between 18 and 29 years old.

One death weas reported by the city of Long Beach.

Countywide, 92% of people who died had underlying health conditions.

Upon further investigation, 51 cases and one death reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.

Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 5,072 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 50% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 24% among white residents, 15% among Asian residents, 10% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races.

Test Positive? Call for Services
Public Health has a dedicated call line for any person with a positive lab result. If you are positive for COVID-19 and have not yet connected with a public health specialist, the department urges you to call 1-833-540-0473 to connect with a public health specialist who can provide information about services and support. Residents who do not have COVID-19 should continue to call 211 for resources or more information.

Heatwave Help & Cooling Centers
High temperatures continue to be forecast for many areas throughout L.A. County. Please avoid unnecessary outdoor activity to limit your exposure to unhealthy air and remember to take steps to stay cool and hydrated throughout the day while still practicing physical distancing and avoiding gatherings.

Check in with relatives and friends especially those who are sick, older adults, pregnant women, and children, and those who live alone.

You should also visit your power company’s website or contact them by phone to determine if you are scheduled for a rolling power outage.

As Health Officer Orders remain in effect, Public Health, City and County partners have planned ways to safely operate cooling centers to provide the public relief from the extreme heat. Cooling centers adhere to strict infection control and distancing measures. Residents who do not have access to air conditioning are encouraged to take advantage of these free cooling centers. To find a location near you, visit https://ready.lacounty.gov/heat/ or call 211.

L.A. County Public Health’s Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

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California County Monitoring Data
As of Friday, a total of 38 California counties including Los Angeles and Ventura are required to close indoor operations for certain sectors based on the July 13 order to slow community transmission.

Calaveras and Napa counties met the threshold for three days and were removed from the list.

If a county should have moved off the list while the list was frozen, that date is being calculated retroactively. The calculation will use the first date after three consecutive days of being under the threshold for the county data monitoring metrics.

If a county moved onto the list during the period the list was frozen (August 1-16), to implement sector closures in compliance with the July 13 order, new closures must be effective by 11:59 p.m. on August 19.

Counties on the County Monitoring List for three or more consecutive days must close indoor operations for additional activities.

California Testing
There have been 10,329,372 tests conducted in California, an increase of 101,406 over the prior 24-hour reporting period.

More than 85 community testing sites offer free, confidential testing: Find a COVID-19 Testing Site.

The CDPH released updated testing guidance on July 23 that focuses on testing hospitalized individuals with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 and people being tested as part of the investigation and management of outbreaks, including contact tracing.

The testing guidance also prioritizes individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms and individuals without symptoms who fall into high-risk categories, including people who live and work in nursing homes, homeless shelters and prisons, healthcare workers, and patients in hospitals.

The new guidance will ensure that Californians who most need tests get them even if there are limited supplies.

California Demographics
Overall, for adults 18 and older, Latinos, African Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are dying at disproportionately higher levels.

The proportion of COVID-19 deaths in African Americans is more than one-and-a-half times their population representation across all adult age categories. For Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, overall numbers are low, but almost double between the proportion of COVID-19 deaths and their population representation.

More males are dying from COVID-19 than females, in line with national trends.

More information is available at COVID-19 Race and Ethnicity Data

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)
Each week, the California Department of Public Health updates the number of cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) reported in the state.

As of August 18, there have been 39 cases of MIS-C reported statewide, an increase of 3 over the previous week.

To protect patient confidentiality in counties with fewer than 11 cases, CDPH is not providing total counts at this time.

MIS-C is a rare inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems. MIS-C can require hospitalization and be life-threatening.

Parents should be aware of the signs and symptoms of MIS-C including fever that does not go away, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes or feeling tired.

Contact your child’s doctor immediately if your child has these symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment of patients are critical to preventing long-term complications.

Protect Yourself and Your Family
Every person has a role to play. Protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense:

* Staying home except for essential needs/activities following local and state public health guidelines when patronizing approved businesses. To the extent that sectors are re-opened, Californians may leave their homes to work at, patronize, or otherwise engage with those businesses, establishments or activities.

* Practicing social distancing

* Wearing a cloth face mask when out in public

* Washing hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds

* Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands

* Covering a cough or sneeze with your sleeve, or disposable tissue. Wash your hands afterward

* Avoiding close contact with people who are sick

* Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough

* Following guidance from public health officials

What to Do if You Think You’re Sick
Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath), call your health care provider before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken. More than 85 community testing sites also offer free, confidential testing: Find a COVID-19 Testing Site.

It’s important if someone thinks they could be positive for COVID-19 and are awaiting testing results to stay at home and act as if they are positive. This means self-isolating for 10 days and 72 hours after symptoms and fever subside.

If a person tests positive for COVID-19, they should plan on receiving a call from a public health specialist to discuss how to protect themselves and others, to find out where they may have been, and who they were in close contact with while infectious.

California COVID-19 Data and Tools
A wide range of data and analysis guides California’s response to COVID-19. The state is making the data and its analytical tools available to researchers, scientists and the public at covid19.ca.gov.

* The Statewide COVID-19 Dashboard

* The California COVID-19 Assessment Tool (CalCAT)

* State Cases and Deaths Associated with COVID-19 by Age Group

* COVID-19 Race & Ethnicity Data

* COVID-19 Hospital Data and Case Statistics

* View additional datasets at the California Open Data Portal (including Testing Data, PPE Logistics Data, Hospital Data, Homeless Impact and more)

Consolidated guidance is available on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance webpage.

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Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19):

* Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

* California Department of Public Health

* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

* Spanish

* World Health Organization

* Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard

L.A. County residents can also call 2-1-1.

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