Friday COVID Roundup: COVID-19 Cases Increasing, Indoor Masking Recommended –

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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed eight new deaths throughout L.A. County, 2,249 new cases countywide and 98 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
This new data brings Los Angeles County death totals to 34,098, county case totals to 3,515,225 and Santa Clarita Valley case totals to 92,760 since March of 2020. SCV deaths from COVID-19 remain at 512.
Of the eight new deaths reported today, four people were between the ages of 65-79, and four people were aged 80 years or older. Of the eight newly reported deaths, all had underlying health conditions.
Friday’s positivity rate is 6.8%.
There are 666 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 12,693,195 individuals, with 24% of people testing positive.
With COVID-19 Cases Increasing, Indoor Masking Strongly Recommended
One week before the Thanksgiving holiday, Los Angeles County is reporting rising cases of COVID-19, increased circulation of new Omicron strains, and high transmission of other respiratory illnesses including the flu and respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. Reducing transmission of these viruses is helped by wearing a well-fitting high filtration mask and results in less disruptions and illness, which can protect our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.
The COVID-19 case rate is now over 100 new cases per 100,000 individuals, up from 86 cases per 100,000 one week ago. Indoor masking in all indoor public spaces is now highly recommended, in accordance with the L.A. County COVID Response Plan. The recommendation covers indoor spaces at schools, retail establishments, entertainment venues, public transit, correctional and detention facilities and at homeless and emergency shelters.
Masking continues to be required for people who have been exposed to COVID during the past 10 days, in healthcare settings and congregate care facilities, and anywhere where it is required by the site. For a more detailed review of masking guidance for L.A. County, please visit
Throughout the pandemic there has been mounting evidence that wearing a mask is an effective way to limit the spread of respiratory viruses. With the current case rate of 100 cases per 100,000 individuals, at a 200 person event, the probability that at least one person at the event is infected with COVID-19 is 45-60%. If the case rate continues to increase and reaches 150 cases per 100,000 individuals, this probability jumps to 60-75%.
The county is also seeing increased circulation of newly emerging COVID-19 strains BQ.1 and BQ.1.1. Combined, the two subvariants comprise 26% of sequenced specimens, surpassing the threshold for High Concern in the county’s Early Alert Signals. This is only the second week of tracking these strains as new subvariants of interest in the L.A. County Early Alert Signals. Last week this indicator was at 17%.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that, for the week ending Nov. 12, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 combined will account for about 45% of sequenced specimens nationwide and this prediction is the same for Region 9, which includes California plus Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and U.S. territories.
L.A. County continues to see steep increases in flu positivity, with rates significantly higher than expected for this point during the flu season. Also, RSV percent positivity is still extremely high, surpassing the peak rates seen over the previous four seasons.
Planning ahead and taking straightforward actions can reduce the risk of transmission at Thanksgiving and holiday gatherings. Public Health recommends masking and testing when traveling, testing before l gathering, particularly if gathering with those more vulnerable for serious illness, increasing ventilation by staying outdoors or, if indoors, opening windows and doors and using an air purifying system, and staying home if sick.
A critical strategy for reducing the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 is being up-to-date with COVID vaccines. Residents age 5 years and older are eligible for the new updated Fall COVID-19 booster. This bivalent booster can protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. These two subvariants are different, but they have the same spike protein, and the new Fall bivalent booster offers protection against both. The bivalent booster is also expected to provide protection against the BQ strains, which are sublineages of BA.5.
Unfortunately, in L.A. County, uptake of the bivalent booster lags. Of the almost 7.5 million residents age 5 years and older who are eligible for a bivalent booster only about 14%, or 1.02 million have received one. Nearly 86% of these residents, or almost 6.5 million people, have not yet received the bivalent booster
The updated Fall COVID-19 boosters, plus flu vaccines, are readily available at Public Health sites, pharmacies, and other locations across the county. Seniors and residents who can’t easily leave their home can contact Public Health telehealth services at (833) 540-0473, seven days a week, from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm to arrange for at-home COVID-19 Fall booster and primary series vaccinations or transportation to a vaccination center. Insurance is not required, and callers can be assisted in multiple languages.
Residents can also go to to find nearby vaccination sites, request a mobile vaccination team for your worksite or community event, or an in-home visit if you or someone you know is homebound.
The 7-day average case count in the county is 1,556, a nearly 17% increase from one week ago when the 7-day average of 1,326 cases was reported.
Over the past seven days, the average number of daily COVID-positive patients in L.A. County hospitals increased to 582, a 26% increase from one week prior when the average number of COVID-positive patients per day was 461.
Deaths, which typically lag hospitalizations by several weeks, have increased slightly from an average of 8 deaths reported each day this past week. The week before, an average of 7 deaths were reported daily.
“I send my deepest sympathies and wishes of peace and comfort to the many families who have lost a loved one from COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “In winter, we find ourselves indoors more often – at family holiday gatherings, entertainment events and shopping for gifts – all situations that can increase exposure to COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses like the flu and RSV, especially if not wearing a mask. With rising rates of transmission, there is an increased probability that you may be exposed to someone with COVID-19 as you gather with friends and family, travel, and shop. We can reduce the risk of disrupting holiday plans and exposing those most vulnerable, including very small children, older adults, and essential workers, to dangerous viruses by being up to date on flu and COVID vaccines, wearing a well-fitting high filtration mask when indoors, staying home and away from others if ill, and testing before gathering and before and after traveling. While the three viruses currently circulating at elevated levels, COVID-19, flu, and RSV, are not new, this season is the first time all three are circulating at high levels at the same time. This creates additional risks of overwhelming our health care system, making it difficult for our healthcare workers to meet the high demand for services. We can each make a difference now by protecting ourselves and those around us.”
A wide range of data and dashboards on COVID-19 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health are available on the Public Health website at
To keep workplaces and schools open, residents and workers are asked to:
– Get tested to help reduce the spread, especially if you traveled for the holidays, have had a possible exposure, or have symptoms, or are gathering with people not in your household
– Adhere to masking requirements when indoors or at crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status
– Residents are legally required to be isolated if they have a positive COVID test result and vaccinated close contacts with symptoms and unvaccinated close contacts need to be quarantined.
For information on where you can get tested, please visit
For updated isolation and quarantine guidance, please visit
COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and are recommended for everyone 5 years old and older to help protect against COVID-19. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status. Appointments are not needed at all Public Health vaccination sites and many community sites where first, second, and third doses are available.
To find a vaccination site near you, or to make an appointment, please visit: (English) or (Spanish).
William S. Hart Union High School District COVID-19 Dashboard
The William S. Hart Union High School District provides ongoing information to our community regarding COVID-19 cases while maintaining confidentiality for our students and staff. The COVID-19 case data below is updated regularly to indicate any currently confirmed COVID-19 positive case in staff members or students by school site. The data below is specific to individuals who have been physically present on a District campus within 14 days of receiving a positive COVID-19 test. The District, in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, conducts contact tracing and directly notifies and provides resources for parents of students identified as close contacts (6 feet or less for 15 cumulative minutes or more).
Note: To see the communication process in the event of a positive COVID-19 case, visit
Schools Community Dashboard
Hart community 1118
Student Dashboard
hart student 1118
Staff Dashboard
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Santa Clarita Valley Friday Update
As of 4 p.m. Friday, the L.A. County Public Health dashboard reported no additional deaths, keeping the total number of deaths in the SCV at 512.
The following is the community breakdown per L.A. County’s dashboard:
Santa Clarita: 415
Castaic: 32
Acton: 19
Stevenson Ranch: 17
Unincorporated Canyon Country: 10
Agua Dulce: 6
Elizabeth Lake: 3
Val Verde: 3 (revised from 4)
Valencia: 2
Unincorporated Bouquet Canyon: 2
Newhall: 1
Unincorporated Saugus/Canyon Country: 1
Lake Hughes: 1
SCV Cases
Of the 92,662 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:
Santa Clarita: 68,537
Castaic: 9,236
Stevenson Ranch: 5,543
Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 3,363
Acton: 1,867
Val Verde: 1,015
Agua Dulce: 933
Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 880
Saugus (unincorporated portion): 409
Elizabeth Lake: 253
Lake Hughes: 196
Bouquet Canyon: 195
Saugus/Canyon Country: 109
Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 100
Sand Canyon: 59
San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 43
Placerita Canyon: 22
*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.
California Thursday
The California Department of Public Health now updates their numbers on Thursdays. The information below is from the most recent data released Thursday, Nov. 17.
– 84,917,740 total vaccines administered.
– 72.3% of the population has been vaccinated with a primary series.
– 64,559 people a day are receiving COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days).
– California has 10,573,758 confirmed cases to date.
– Thursday’s average case count is 3,531 (average daily case count over 7 days).
– During September 2022, unvaccinated people were 2.5 times more likely to get COVID-19 than people who were vaccinated with at least a primary series.
The testing positivity rate is 6.3% (average rate over 7 days).
– There are 2,187 hospitalizations statewide.
– There are 287 ICU patients statewide.
– During September 2022, unvaccinated people were 2.7 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than people who were vaccinated with at least a primary series.
– There have been 96,494 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
– COVID-19 claims the lives of 14 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).
– During September 2022, unvaccinated people were 3.1 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who were vaccinated with at least a primary series.
Health Care Workers
As of Nov. 16, local health departments have reported 183,461 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 594 deaths statewide.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)
As of Nov. 14, there have been 1,036 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) reported statewide. 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.
Updated Boosters for Children
California Health & Human Services and CDPH sent a statement on Oct. 13, 2022 on the expanded eligibility for the updated Moderna and Pfizer boosters. Eligibility for the updated Moderna booster now extends to individuals 6 years of age and older and eligibility for the updated Pfizer booster now extends to individuals 5 years of age and older. This statement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation and has the support of the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup.
Changes to Definition of Close Contact
CDPH is revising the definition of close contact related to COVID-19. The update, in keeping with the state’s SMARTER plan, provides strategies for responding to direct and indirect COVID-19 exposure in indoor environments, and aligns with the most current science, data, and information. These changes take effect Friday, Oct. 14, 2022.
The amended order can be viewed here, as well as a Q&A.
Updated Testing Requirements for Visitors to Health Care Facilities
Beginning Saturday, Sept. 17, visitors to health care facilities, such as skilled nursing facilities and general acute care hospitals, will no longer be required to be tested or show proof of vaccination in order to visit loved ones. Visitors must continue to comply with CDPH Masking Guidance while visiting loved ones indoors in these settings.
Facilities should continue to maintain all current infection prevention practices to protect the vulnerable populations in health care facilities. In addition, they should continue to offer testing for visitors per recommendations from CDPH and/or the local public health department and have the ability to ramp up testing if it is required again at a future date.
In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in updated testing guidance, indicated screening testing is no longer recommended in general community settings. Therefore, CDPH has also updated COVID-19 testing guidance.
Preparing for a Healthy 2022-23 School Year
The Safe Schools for All Hub consolidates key resources and information related to COVID-19 and schools.
Learn more about the COVID-19 mitigation strategies to keep students, staff, and communities safe in the 2022-23 K-12 Schools Guidance.
Get more information on changes to COVID-19 testing strategies for the 2022-23 school year in the 2022-23 K-12 Schools Testing Framework.
The CDPH Testing Taskforce School Testing team has released a 2022-2023 K-12 Schools Testing Framework Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
Additional Updates
Mask Guidance: Under California’s mask guidance, universal masking is required only in specified higher risk settings like hospitals, public transit and congregate living facilities. Unvaccinated persons are required to mask in all indoor public settings. Fully vaccinated individuals are recommended to continue indoor masking when the risk may be high. Workplaces will continue to follow the COVID-19 prevention standards set by CalOSHA. Local health jurisdictions may implement requirements that are stricter than state guidance.
Slow the Spread: Get Vaccinated and Boosted for COVID-19
The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection continues as a number of Californians remain unvaccinated and unboosted.
Real-world evidence continues to show that the vaccine is preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Public health officials urge Californians to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible.
It is recommended that every individual six months of age and older receive their primary COVID-19 vaccine series and booster dose.
It is recommended that every vaccinated person 12 years or older should get a booster as long as they received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least five months ago or they received their Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.
Vaccination appointments can be made by visiting or calling 1-833-422-4255. The consent of a parent or legal guardian may be needed for those under age 18 to receive a vaccination. Visit Vaccinate All 58 to learn more about the safe and effective vaccines available for all Californians 5+.
Your Actions Save Lives
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:
Keep California Healthy
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:
– Get vaccinated when it’s your turn. Californians age 16+ are eligible to make an appointment.
– If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), call your health care provider.
– If you believe you have been exposed, get tested. Free, confidential testing is available statewide.
– Keep gatherings small and outdoors and follow state and local public health guidance.
– Wear a mask and get the most out of masking – an effective mask has both good fit and good filtration.
– Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
– Delay non-essential travel outside of California until you are fully vaccinated. Follow California’s travel advisory.
– Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work and school if you feel ill.
– Add your phone to the fight by signing up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.
– Answer the call or text if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect.
Additional data and udpates:
Tracking COVID-19 in California
State Dashboard – Daily COVID-19 data
County Map – Local data, including tier status and ICU capacity
Data and Tools – Models and dashboards for researchers, scientists, and the public
Blueprint for a Safer Economy– Data for establishing tier status
COVID-19 Race & Ethnicity Data – Weekly updated Race & Ethnicity data
Cases and Deaths by Age Group – Weekly updated Deaths by Age Group data
Health Equity Dashboard – See how COVID-19 highlights existing inequities in health
Tracking Variants – Data on the variants California is currently monitoring
Safe Schools for All Hub – Information about safe in-person instruction
School Districts Reopening Map – data on public schools and reported outbreaks
Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
California Department of Public Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization
L.A. County residents can also call 2-1-1.
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.
For more information about what Californians can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California.
California continues to issue guidance on preparing and protecting California from COVID-19. Consolidated guidance is available on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance webpage.
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