Dear Lompoc Valley Community:
Below, please find an update regarding the COVID-19 situation from the Lompoc Valley Medical Center perspective. This update will primarily provide the latest information on topics discussed in previous updates.
Earlier this afternoon we mistakenly re-posted last weeks update under today's date. Please see the correct update below.
Lompoc Community-Based COVID-19 Testing Site
The County of Santa Barbara is working with the State to increase testing for COVID-19 through Community-Based Testing Sites. One such site is in Lompoc, at the Anderson Recreation Center. It is scheduled to become operational today, May 8.
- Screening and appointments can be made between the hours of 7 am and 5 pm by visiting https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 888-634-1123. The days on which testing will occur are Friday through Tuesday of each week. A maximum of 135 tests will be done each day. The testing site will be operational for at least 60 days from today. (I am told that all testing slots were filled today, but that there are still some unfilled testing slots for this weekend.)
- Although all community residents are eligible to be screened, individuals who meet the following conditions will be given priority: healthcare workers and first responders; persons 65 and older; persons with chronic medical conditions; residents or employees of congregate care living facilities; persons in essential occupations including utilities, grocery, food supply, and public employees; any persons exhibiting one or more symptoms of COVID-19.
- There will be no out-of-pocket expense for those tested, however, insurers of those who have coverage will be billed.
- The above-described testing is being done by the County of Santa Barbara, in conjunction with the State of California. On another note, just today, LVMC received the equipment and supplies to perform a certain type of COVID-19 testing onsite. In 1-2 weeks, after quality control procedures have been accomplished, we will start performing on-site testing. Initially, it will primarily be used for patients who will be undergoing surgery or procedure.
COVID-19 Patient Volume from the Lompoc Valley Community (excluding the Federal Correctional Complex).
Since last week’s update, there has not been any significant news regarding the incidence of COVID-19 in the Lompoc Valley Community or in Santa Barbara County overall (other than at the FCC – see below). However, if anyone is keeping score (I’m not), Santa Maria has surpassed Lompoc in regard to the incidence of COVID-19 positive residents, on a per capita basis.
Federal Correctional Complex (FCC).
- The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is the entity to provide public information regarding the FCC. So, I will discuss only information that has been released by the BOP or reported in the media. On Monday, May 4, the BOP issued a press release indicating that a 20-bed Hospital Care Unit (previously referred to as a “Field Hospital”) for non-ICU patients, would be operational at the FCC premises on Wednesday, May 6. As of today, May 8, it is unclear whether the Hospital Care Unit is in fact operational.
- Media reports have indicated that the BOP has performed COVID-19 testing, or is completing testing, all inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution (the low-security area of the FCC). The BOP website indicates that 792 of the 1,162 inmates at the FCI have tested positive for COVID-19. The implications of this high number and a high percentage of positive test results are undetermined, at this time.
Resumption of Non-Emergent Surgeries and Procedures.
- LVMC has resumed performing elective (essential but not emergent) surgeries and procedures. We have started with a light schedule and will be ramping-up as soon as possible. Our plan (which is subject to change based upon experience) is to return to a full schedule on or near May 18. However, even after returning to a full schedule, the number of cases that can be performed in a day may be reduced, due to the time required between cases to accomplish enhanced infection prevention measures.
- For now, three days prior to the surgery or procedure, patients will have a COVID-19 test along with their other preoperative testing. If the test result is positive, the surgery will be postponed. Patients will self-isolate from the time of the test until the time of their surgery. Enhanced infection prevention protocols will be in place in the Surgery Department and throughout the hospital for the safety of patients, staff, and physicians. As mentioned above, just today, we have received the equipment and supplies to do a certain type of COVID-19 testing on-site. Within 1-2 weeks, the need to be tested 3 days before the date of surgery and self-isolate, will be reduced to 1 day.
Radiology Services/Emergency Room Services
- As previously reported, restrictions on radiology services have been lifted, and all radiology services at the LVMC hospital site are now available, including screening mammograms. (Our satellite Lab and Radiology site on Ocean Avenue remains closed. We are in discussions regarding its re-opening).
- We encourage community members who feel that they have an emergent or potentially emergent medical situation, to visit the LVMC Emergency Room (or call 9-1-1 if life-threatening). With the infection prevention measures we have implemented, we feel there is no reason to avoid seeking Emergency Room services.
Lompoc Health Telehealth and In-Person
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have initiated our Telehealth visit service with more than 30 Providers in 11 specialties. While telehealth visits are still available, we are now fully resuming in-person Lompoc Health clinic visits, while employing enhanced infection prevention protocols. Whichever method you choose—telehealth or in-person—Lompoc Health will be there to serve you. Those wishing to schedule a telehealth visit or in-person 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 visit, please call (805) 875-8850.
Out-of-Pocket Costs for COVID-19 Tests.
Medicare and most healthplans have indicated that their members will not have out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 tests. The details of how this is implemented are ill-defined. Our understanding is that the testing facility does its normal billing procedure, and the healthplan does the special claims adjudication on its end. Nonetheless, we want to make sure our community members are not disadvantaged. So, if you received a bill from LVMC or Lompoc Health showing out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing, please feel free to contact the LVMC Administration Office, and we will do our best to resolve the situation.
National Nurses Week and National Hospital Week.
National Hospital Week, when we celebrate the outstanding work of all LVMC employees, in all departments, officially was to begin on May 10. We postponed our celebration until a date in June, in the hope that we will be able to do a bit more social gathering at that time. LVMC and our nursing departments went forward with celebrating National Nurses Week, which began on May 6. To all of our LVMC, CCC, and Lompoc Health Nurses, we are very proud of you, inspired by you, and thankful for everything you do!!
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 are new since the last update…if I missed anyone I apologize and will include on the next update) Cajun Kitchen; La Purisima Mission Mask Makers; Advanced Performance Physical Therapy; SONOS; Pickle & Peanut Restaurants Inc.; Jordano’s; Lompoc Little Caesar’s Pizza; Victoria Perez; Diana Coronado; Firework Foundation; The Daily Grind; Industrial Eats; 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