Dear Lompoc Valley Community:
Below, please find an update regarding the COVID-19 situation from the Lompoc Valley Medical Center perspective.
COVID-19 Patient Volume from the Lompoc Valley Community.
From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, LVMC has had only three COVID-19 positive inpatient admissions originating from the general Lompoc Valley Community. Of those three, none required ICU care, and there have been no deaths. Presently, we have no COVID-19 positive inpatients from the general Lompoc Valley Community.
“Slicing and Dicing” the Santa Barbara County COVID-19 Data
Based upon data publicly reported by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, and applying population data, the Lompoc Valley Community has a higher per capita incidence of COVID-19 positive test results than Santa Barbara County overall. Excluding the Federal Correctional Complex, Lompoc Valley has one positive test result per 825 population, versus 1 per 1,309 population for Santa Barbara County overall. These figures include individuals who have since recovered and are not presently considered to be COVID-19 positive.
Although the per capita incidence of COVID-19 positive is higher in the Lompoc Valley Community, to me, that is not a very meaningful figure. The number of COVID-19 tests performed in each geographical area varies and is not publicly reported, and the testing practices employed at each medical facility vary throughout the County. Both of these factors impact the incidence rate, making comparison difficult.
To me, the most relevant data is the per capita rate of COVID-19 positive that has resulted in hospitalization and/or death. Please consider the following facts:
- The number of individuals within Santa Barbara County who are COVID-19 positive and are currently hospitalized is 30 (excluding inmates from the FCC). This equates to 1 hospitalized patient per 14,900 population. There are currently no residents of the Lompoc Valley Community who are COVID-19 positive and hospitalized.
- There have been 4 COVID-19 related deaths in Santa Barbara County (excluding inmates from the FCC). This equates to one death per 111,750 population. There have been no COVID-19 related deaths among residents of the Lompoc Valley Community.
Federal Correctional Complex (FCC)
You may have seen media reports about a “field hospital” for low and medium acuity patients being established on the FCC premises. The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, LVMC, and the other area hospitals, are in regular communication with FCC leadership regarding this initiative, and other matters related to coordinating our COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Although the publicly reported data from the Bureau of Prisons and Santa Barbara Public Health Department show an increasing number of COVID-19 positive inmates, the number of inmates currently receiving hospital care, and the number of new hospital admissions, has reduced significantly from its recent peak. We are hopeful that this trend continues, but we are prepared if it does not.
The Champion Center was being considered for use by the County as an emergent and temporary location to provide acute inpatient psychiatric care during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will not be happening. In addition, the Champion Center will not be used as an alternative care site for medical COVID-19 purposes. However, the lease of the Champion Center to Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc. is moving forward. As previously announced, Crestwood will be operating an 80-bed Mental Health Rehabilitation Center. They expect to be licensed and operational by October or November. This will create more than 70 new jobs within the community.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)/Ventilators
I routinely receive questions regarding the adequacy of our PPE. The answer is that it is a moving target. Presently we are fairly-well situated for N95 masks, face shields, and gloves. Our inventory is low on procedure masks and isolation gowns. Our daily efforts to obtain needed PPE have been effective, but we always need more. Community businesses and individuals have been incredibly generous in donating PPE. Without these donations, we would be in a difficult situation. We are gratefully accepting donations of all PPE, including hand-sewn masks. If some of the donations are not appropriate for use by healthcare workers but are suitable for the general public, we will make sure they get to Lompoc community members who can use them.
We currently have 17 ventilators. The highest number of ventilators that have been in use at one time is 3. We feel that we have a sufficient amount of ventilators.
Lompoc Health Telehealth Visits
Telehealth visits (remote video or phone physician/provider visits) are now available for existing Lompoc Health patients. We currently have 28 of our Lompoc Health Providers established to provide telehealth visits. They include the specialties of Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Urgent Care, Pediatrics, OB/GYN, Orthopedics, ENT, General Surgery, Bariatric Surgery, and Oncology. I previously neglected to mention that our excellent Counselors are also available for telehealth visits.Those wishing to schedule a telehealth visit should call the Lompoc Health Customer Care Department at (805) 737-8700 for North H Center, and (805) 736-1253 for North Third Center. For a Counselor telehealth visit, please call (805) 875-8850.
A huge thank you to the following businesses and individuals who have made donations of Personal Protective Equipment and supplies, food for our healthcare workers, and other acts of kindness. You are all very much appreciated!! (The ones in bold have been added since the last update) Vivid Financial Management; Christine Collier; David Carey DDS; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Sue McIntyre; Cajun Kitchen; McDonalds; Hilton Garden Inn; Anita Macias; a collaboration of 18 wineries--Alma Rosa, Ampelos, Chanin, Fiddlehead, Flying Goat, Garcia, Kings Carey, Kita, Longoria, Loring, Pali, Piedrasassi, Sandhi, Santa Barbara Winery, Sea Smoke, Sweetzer, Temperance and Transcendence; CoastHills Credit Union; CenCal Health; Dunn School; American Host; Kateri and Chris Kingsley; Katherine Milham; Sweet Bliss Sugar Scrubs and Co.; Carol Kirkland; Dr. Iris Radler; Donna Bommersbach; Patricia Henry; Nancy Manes; Annamie Lafferty; Marilyn Romine; Courtney & Mitch Barnham; Ida Kreds; Ingrid Kaper; Judy Carpenter; Space X; Lompoc Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Santa Barbara Foundation; Lompoc Hospital District Foundation; Lompoc Unified School District; Lompoc YMCA; Floriano’s Mexican Food; Circle K; Keller Williams Realty of Lompoc; Girl Scouts of Lompoc; Arbonne independent distributors; Orcutt Bakery; Northrop Grumman; L3Harris Technologies; Astrotech Corp.; Harbor Freight; Home Depot; Direct Relief; Heath Dental; CHC Dental; Mikowicz Dental; Kimberly Nails; Not Alone Plumbing; Artisan Uprising Winery/Azeo Distillery; Starbuck’s Store 496; Tom’s Burgers; Super Grill; Sign Gypsies Central Coast, (if I missed anyone I apologize and will update next time!)
Our frontline healthcare workers, support staff, physicians, and allied health professionals have been doing an outstanding job, and we are very thankful and proud of them!! Thank you, Lompoc Valley Community, for your tremendous support of LVMC and our healthcare workers; it means a lot to all of us!!
Chief Executive Officer