SCVNews.com | Monday COVID Roundup: State Drops Mask Mandate for Schools

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Monday 67 additional deaths and 2,883 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 88 new cases over the weekend in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The higher number of cases and deaths reflect delays in reporting from the weekend. Of the 67 new deaths reported one person was between the ages of 18-29, seven were between the ages of 30-49, 12 were between the ages of 50-64, 25 were between the ages of 65-79 and 22 were aged 80 years or older. Of the 67 newly reported deaths, 55 had underlying health conditions.

Monday’s positivity rate is 1.1%.

There are 916 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 11,427,600 individuals, with 22% of people testing positive.

This new data brings Los Angeles County death totals to 30,716, county case totals to 2,796,560 and Santa Clarita Valley case totals to 71,693 since March of 2020.

State Drops Mandate for Schools, L.A. County Continues Mask Recommendation :

California will drop school masking requirements on March 12, leaving the decision up to districts and local jurisdictions, state officials announced Monday.

Currently, California students and teachers have to mask up indoors at K-12 schools statewide, regardless of vaccination status.

On March 12 masks will be recommended but not required by the state at schools and child care facilities.

Counties, districts and schools can still opt to keep masks a requirement.

Public Health will align school masking measures with the state and shift to strongly recommending indoor masking requirements at child care sites and K-12 schools beginning March 12.

On Tuesday, March 1 California will no longer have mask requirements for unvaccinated people in most indoor settings. However, individual businesses and other venues may still require masks.

Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said the state will continue strongly recommending masks at schools since many people remain unvaccinated, including people with compromised immune systems and children younger than 5 who are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

Free Treatment Options for COVID-19
Several free treatment options are available and can be used to prevent severe illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. Treatments are available for those who are at increased risk of severe disease, test positive for COVID-19 and have any symptoms, even mild ones, such as runny nose or cough. Five therapeutic options have been authorized by the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19 in individuals ages 12 and over who are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness:

Oral Therapeutics

Oral therapeutic treatments require a prescription from a healthcare provider.

— Paxlovid, must be taken within five days of first COVID-19 symptom.

— Molnupiravir, must be taken within five days of first COVID-19 symptoms.

Monoclonal Antibody Intravenous IV and Antiviral Infusions

— Sotrovimab, must be administered within 10 days of first COVID-19 symptom.

— Remdesivir, must be given within seven days of first COVID-19 symptom.

— Evusheld available for people who can’t get a COVID-19 vaccine for medical reasons, or who may not respond well to a vaccine because they have a weak immune system due to a medical condition or treatment. Must be administered before a person is exposed to COVID-19 to prevent them from getting infected.

For the week of Feb. 25, L.A. County received 3,880 doses of Paxlovid, Pfizer’s oral treatment, that was distributed to providers, pharmacies, and clinics; this is a 38% increase from the allocation of the prior week. Overall, the county has been allotted a total of 14,740 doses of Paxlovid since the medication was first approved by the FDA to treat high-risk patients for COVID-19.

For the week Feb. 25, L.A. County also received 4,392 doses of Molnupiravir, Merck’s oral treatment, a 110% increase from the amount sent the prior week. Since its FDA approval, the county has been allocated over 36,700 doses that have been distributed to county providers, pharmacies, and clinics.

The county also was allocated 336 doses of Evusheld; this is an increase of 367% from the allocation the previous week.

In total, more than 60,000 doses of these three COVID-19 therapeutics have been distributed across LA County since they first became available in December.

Residents who would like to access these medicines or have questions on which treatment is right for them should contact their medical provider or call the COVID-19 information line at (833) 540-0473, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily. The call center is a free resource where residents can get culturally and linguistically appropriate information about available therapeutics, and how to access them. Because providers need to be registered in a federal management platform to receive these medications, Public Health is working to enroll enough providers to ensure a vast network of sites that can provide information, have a supply of therapeutics, and prescribing ability across the county, with emphasis on ensuring equitable distribution among hard hit and low-resourced communities.

As Public Health continues to build out the network of providers, a pilot will be launched using telehealth platforms at select sites to augment locations that can prescribe and distribute oral therapeutics in low resource communities.

“I send my heartfelt condolences to those families who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “With the availability of these new powerful tools, we now have another strong layer of protection to help us mitigate the worst outcomes of COVID-19. These therapeutics, including COVID pills and infusions, are potentially lifesaving for residents at increased risk of disease, but they need to be administered quickly. Residents who are considered high risk or those who have recently tested positive should contact their provider as soon as possible to get information on whether to consider a treatment that prevents severe illness should they become infected. As we continue makes these therapeutics widely available, we want to thank our partners for the great work they’ve done to distribute these medicines to those with elevated risk.”

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).

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital currently has zero tests pending, 10 patients in the hospital and a total of 2,183 patients who have been treated and discharged since the pandemic began and one additional deceased, bringing the total to 223 deaths at Henry Mayo, spokesman Patrick Moody confirmed.

Privacy laws prohibit the hospital from releasing the community of residence for patients who die there; that info is reported by the L.A. County Public Health COVID-19 dashboard, which generally lags 48 hours behind.

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.

Student Dashboard

Staff Dashboard

Santa Clarita Valley Monday Update
As of 5:30 p.m. Monday, the L.A. County Public Health dashboard reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 in the city of Santa Clarita bringing the total number of deaths from COVID-19 in the SCV to 434.

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

Santa Clarita: 357

Castaic: 27

Acton: 16

Unincorporated Canyon Country: 9 (revised from 10)

Stevenson Ranch: 10

Agua Dulce: 5

Val Verde: 3

Valencia: 2

Unincorporated Bouquet Canyon: 2

Elizabeth Lake: 1

Newhall: 1

unincorporated Saugus/Canyon Country: 1

Lake Hughes: 0 (**revised from 1)


SCV Cases

Of the 71,693 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:

Santa Clarita: 53,294

Castaic: 7,042

Stevenson Ranch: 3,961

Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 2,558

Acton: 1,497

Val Verde: 824

Agua Dulce: 776

Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 664

Saugus (unincorporated portion): 309

Elizabeth Lake: 203

Bouquet Canyon: 147

Lake Hughes: 145

Saugus/Canyon Country: 89

Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 87

Sand Canyon: 48

San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 34

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 Monday

Statewide COVID-19 Data

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are largely occurring among unvaccinated populations. See the data for unvaccinated and vaccinated cases, hospitalizations and deaths.


– 71,572,458 total vaccines administered.

– 83.1% of the eligible population (5+) has been vaccinated with at least one dose.

– 46,581 people a day are receiving COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days).


– California has 8,381,196 confirmed cases to date.

– Monday’s average case count is 8,124 (average daily case count over 7 days).

– Unvaccinated people are 5.4 times more likely to get COVID-19 than boosted individuals (Jan. 31, 2022 – Feb. 6, 2022).


– The testing positivity rate is 2.9% (average rate over 7 days).


– There are 4,233 hospitalizations statewide.

– There are 817 ICU patients statewide.

– Unvaccinated people are 10.5 times more likely to be hospitalized than boosted individuals (Jan. 31, 2022 – Feb. 6, 2022).


– There have been 84,700 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

– COVID-19 claims the lives of 187 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).

– Unvaccinated people are 16.0 times more likely to die than boosted individuals (Jan. 24, 2022 – Jan. 30, 2022).

Health Care Workers

Note: As of Feb. 24, local health departments have reported 148,051 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 568 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 Feb. 13 to Feb. 19, the average time patients waited for test results was one day. During this same time period, 88% of patients received test results in one day and 97% received them within two days.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

As of Feb. 22, there have been 828 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.

SCVNews.com | Monday COVID Roundup: State Drops Mask Mandate for Schools
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