Lompoc Valley Medical Center is actively preparing for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The situation with the virus is rapidly evolving and as guidance from State and Local Public Health Departments are updated, our procedures and protocols are revised accordingly. We will inform the community via our webpage, signage at our facilities, and other means, as developments occur that may impact your healthcare needs.
We understand this rapidly expanding virus has led to great uncertainty, and confusion, in our community. We want to assure the community that we have, and are, proactively putting in place measures to protect our healthcare providers, staff, patients, visitors, and volunteers.
Most or all healthcare providers in Santa Barbara County, including LVMC and its entities such as Lompoc Health, do have the ability to collect the required COVID-19 specimens for testing as directed by California Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. This is done through a nasal and oral swab, and in rare instances, a blood draw.
Once the sample collection is completed by a healthcare provider, the provider can send it – under a highly regulated process – to one of two CDC-approved private labs. Those labs are Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp. The time for results varies, with the standard of 4-5 days. The alternative is to contact Santa Barbara County Public Health and request that the specimen be tested through their laboratory. The SB County Public Health turnaround time for a result is 24 – 48 hours. In order to get the quickest result, LVMC only refers to private labs if SB County Public Health cannot perform the test.
No local health provider currently has ‘test kits,’ as they do not exist. ‘Test kit’ is a misnomer and oversimplification of the current required process. The process requires obtaining the specimen (according to current Public Health guidelines) and sending it to an approved lab with the capability to then perform the test.
For our region, there are two public health labs that have the ability to run the test; one is in Ventura County and one is in San Luis Obispo County. All healthcare providers must collect specimens using guidelines set by CDC/CDPH and SB County Public Health Officer. The testing of the specimen is then managed through Santa Barbara Public Health. California Department of Public Health made the determination which labs were approved for testing for COVID-19 in our jurisdiction.
LVMC continues to receive information daily from Public Health on a local and state level and we follow all recommendations as guidance and information is updated and provided.