SCVNews.com | Friday COVID Roundup: Indoor Masking Recommended as Hospitalizations Increase

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 10 new deaths throughout L.A. County, 5,051 new cases countywide and 138 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.

This new data brings Los Angeles County death totals to 32,154, county case totals to 2,990,651 and Santa Clarita Valley case totals to 77,668, with 474 total SCV deaths from COVID-19 since March of 2020.

There are 522 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 12,034,362 individuals, with 22% of people testing positive.

Of the 10 new deaths reported today, one person was between the ages of 30-49, four people were between the ages of 65-79, and five were among people aged 80 years or older. Of the 10 newly reported deaths, nine people had underlying health conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 32,154.

Today’s positivity rate is 5.0%.

Data is by date reported by DPH, but does not necessarily represent the date of testing, hospitalization, or death.

Indoor Masking Recommended as Essential Safety Measure

As highly transmissible Omicron sub-lineages dominate across the county, masking is an essential safety measure that residents can use to help protect themselves and others in all indoor settings.

The BA.2 Omicron variant, excluding BA.2 sub-lineages, continues to decrease, and now accounts for only about half of the variants sequenced in the county. In contrast, the even more transmissible BA.2.12.1 sub-lineage accounts for 40% of positive sequenced specimens. Modeling estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predict that BA.2.12.1 is now the predominant variant in the U.S, accounting for 59% of sequenced specimens across the country for the week ending May 28.

During this period of significantly elevated case rates, fueled by the proliferation of new highly infectious strains of the virus that evade some of the vaccine protection against transmission, masking indoors provides strong protection against transmission of COVID-19. There is an impressive body of reputable research showing how masking reduces risk for individuals and slows viral transmission in the community.

Two recent studies highlight the effectiveness of masking. The first study looked at masking by people in California during most of 2021. They found the odds of testing positive were 56% lower for people who reported always wearing a mask in indoor public settings compared to those who reported never wearing a mask in those settings. Moreover, the odds of testing positive were 83% lower for people who reported wearing a respirator (like an N95 or KN95) compared to people who reported never wearing a mask.

The second study looked at the effects of masking in Arkansas schools. They found that school districts with universal mask requirements in Fall 2021 had 23% lower COVID-19 case rates among staff and students compared to school districts without mask requirements.

Both these studies reflected the variability in proper masking and the quality of masks used by individuals, and still demonstrated that masks protect both individuals and communities.

As a reminder, masks are required inside healthcare settings, on public transit and at indoor transit hubs, long term care settings, shelters and cooling centers, and correctional facilities. And, employees and customers must wear a mask at any workplaces or venues with required masking. Masking is also required by our LA County Health Officer Order for anyone who is still within 10 days of a COVID diagnosis or exposure when around others.

Both the LA County Health Officer Order and CalOSHA require workplaces to offer masks and respirators to workers. The masks and respirators should be the correct size for the employee, and employees should be given basic instructions on how to achieve the best fit with the mask. As a reminder, all workplaces must allow employees to protect themselves by wearing a mask, even if masking is not required.

There are certain situations in which employers are required to assure masks are being worn. This includes, at workplaces that have a government-issued mandate to mask, required masking for those within 10 days of a COVID diagnosis or exposure, and masking during workplace outbreaks.

“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. “With the high transmission of the BA.2.12.1, masking provides a strong defense against viral transmission. Each resident should consider not only their own personal risk, but also the risk to family members, friends, co-workers and those sharing public spaces, as they make decisions about taking precautions such as masking, gathering, getting tested, and getting vaccinated or boosted. In situations where transmission risk is higher, we know with certainty that masking allows us to protect ourselves and those around us. Masking helps protect those in our county who are more vulnerable. We help keep everyone working. And it is a fairly simple way to do our part to help prevent overburdening the healthcare system we all depend on.”

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 http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

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 www.covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/.

For updated isolation and quarantine guidance, please visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

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:

www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) or

www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (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 https://www.hartdistrict.org/apps/pages/covid-19dashboard.

Schools Community Dashboard

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Student Dashboard

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Staff Dashboard

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Santa Clarita Valley Friday Update
As of 5 p.m. Friday, the L.A. County Public Health dashboard reported no additional deaths leaving the number of total deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic to 475 in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The following is the community breakdown per L.A. County’s dashboard:

Santa Clarita: 386

Castaic: 31

Acton: 17

Stevenson Ranch: 15

Unincorporated Canyon Country: 9 (revised from 10)

Agua Dulce: 6

Val Verde: 3 (revised from 4)

Valencia: 2

Unincorporated Bouquet Canyon: 2

Elizabeth Lake: 1

Newhall: 1

unincorporated Saugus/Canyon Country: 1

Lake Hughes: 1


SCV Cases

Of the 77,668 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:

Santa Clarita: 57,259

Castaic: 8,012

Stevenson Ranch: 4,470

Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 2,764

Acton: 1,576

Val Verde: 885

Agua Dulce: 811

Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 739

Saugus (unincorporated portion): 338

Elizabeth Lake: 216

Bouquet Canyon: 156

Lake Hughes: 158

Saugus/Canyon Country: 96

Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 88

Sand Canyon: 49

San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 36

Placerita Canyon: 15

*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 Friday

The California Department of Public Health now updates their numbers on Tuesday and Friday. The information below is from the most recent data released Friday, May 27.

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– 76,475,034 total vaccines administered.

– 83.6% of the eligible population (5+) has been vaccinated with at least one dose.

– 44,128 people a day are receiving COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days).


– California has 8,989,279 confirmed cases to date.

– Friday’s average case count is 13,895 (average daily case count over 7 days).

– Unvaccinated people are 4.7 times more likely to get COVID-19 than boosted individuals (May 9, 2022 – May 15, 2022).


– The testing positivity rate is 8.3% (average rate over 7 days).


– There are 2,415 hospitalizations statewide.

– There are 276 ICU patients statewide.

– Unvaccinated people are 7.4 times more likely to be hospitalized than boosted individuals (May 9, 2022 – May 15, 2022).


– There have been 90,815 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

– COVID-19 claims the lives of 9 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).

– Unvaccinated people are 7.4 times more likely to die than boosted individuals (May 2, 2022 – May 8, 2022).

Health Care Workers

As of June 2, local health departments have reported 162,287 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 580 deaths statewide.

Testing Turnaround Time

The testing turnaround time dashboard reports how long California patients are waiting for COVID-19 test results. During the week of May 22 to May 28, the average time patients waited for test results was 0.8 day. During this same time period, 89% of patients received test results in one day and 98% received them within two days.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

As of June 2, there have been 996 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.

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 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 myturn.ca.gov 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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SCVNews.com | Friday COVID Roundup: Indoor Masking Recommended as Hospitalizations Increase
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