Dear Lompoc Valley Community:
Below, please find an update regarding the COVID-19 situation from the Lompoc Valley Medical Center perspective.
California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Infection Prevention Survey.
CDPH announced that it will survey all California hospitals regarding compliance with Federal requirements related to implementing proper infection prevention and control practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. On April 27, LVMC was one of the first hospitals to be surveyed by CDPH. The survey results were received earlier this week, and I am pleased to report that it stated, “your facility was in substantial compliance and no deficiencies were cited.” Thank you to our employees and medical staff for making LVMC a safe environment for our patients and healthcare workers.
COVID-19 Statistics: Local/County/State (excluding the Federal Correctional Complex)
- Of the 553 individuals who have tested COVID-19 positive in Santa Barbara County, 13.7% are still active cases; 72.5% have recovered; 9% are recovering at home; 4.7% are currently hospitalized. Of the 26 individuals currently hospitalized, 11 are in ICU.
- Of the 9 COVID-19 related deaths in Santa Barbara County, regrettably 2 were residents of the Lompoc Valley Community. In Santa Barbara County there has been 1 death per 49,611 population. This compares to 1 death per 13,031 population for the State of California overall. So, the mortality rate for California is 3.8 times higher than that of Santa Barbara County.
- Of the 26 COVID-19 positive residents of Santa Barbara County who are currently hospitalized, 3 are at LVMC.
- The absolute number, and per capita number of COVID-19 positive cases in a geographical area is largely a function of the number of COVID-19 tests performed in that area. The number of tests performed in a geographical area is not publicly reported. But, for what it’s worth, of the three areas, Santa Maria has the highest per capita rate of COVID-19 positive cases, then Lompoc, then Santa Barbara.
Lompoc Community-Based COVID-19 Testing Site
- The County of Santa Barbara is working with the State of California to increase testing for COVID-19 through Community-Based Testing Sites. One such site is in Lompoc, at the Anderson Recreation Center. It began operation on May 8, and will continue for at least 60 days from that date.
- Screening and appointments can be made between the hours of 7am and 5pm by visiting https://lhi.care/covidtesting or by calling 888-634-1123(I am told the wait time on hold is approximately 30 minutes). The days on which testing will occur are Friday through Tuesday of each week. A maximum of 130 tests will be done each day. Information received from Santa Barbara Public Health Department today indicates that thus far the demand for testing has been well below the 130 per day maximum. Also, please keep in mind that the test result turnaround time has so far been longer than expected, at least several days.
- 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.
LVMC COVID-19 Testing Capabilities.
LVMC has been successful in acquiring three different types of laboratory analyzers to perform on-site COVID-19 testing. However, the testing supplies are now being controlled and rationed by the Federal Government and State Government. Therefore, the inventory of supplies and the resulting on-site testing capacity is low. We will reserve the on-site testing for the highest priority situations, and will continue the current process of collecting specimens on-site and sending them out for testing. This process has been working well, and the turnaround time for results has been appropriate for patient care needs.
Federal Correctional Complex (FCC).
The Federal Bureau of Prisons has implemented some of its planned additions to the medical capabilities at the FCC. The very high number of COVID-19 positive inmates at the low security area of the FCC has been widely reported. Notwithstanding, and although I am not a Public Health expert, based upon observations and discussions, I fully expect there to be a significant betterment of the COVID-19 situation at the FCC over the next couple/few weeks.
Resumption of Non-Emergent Surgeries and Procedures.
- The resumption of elective (essential but not emergent) surgeries and procedures at LVMC has been occurring as planned. We started with a light schedule and are ramping-up. Beginning Monday, May 18, all surgeons will be back to their normal surgery schedules. However, the number of cases that can be performed in a day will still be somewhat reduced, due to the time required between cases to perform enhanced infection prevention measures.
- 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.
Under the Category of “It’s Safe to Go Back in The Water”
- We encourage community members not to put-off needed medical care, whether that be Lompoc Health Clinic services, Emergency Room services, Radiology Services, or other services. Over the past two months we have implemented and refined infection prevention measures, and while it is impossible to eliminate all risk, we believe the risk is minimal and that it would be prudent to seek medical care when needed.
- We can see that community members are heeding the advice to no longer defer medical care. The daily patient visits at our Lompoc Health Clinics are up to approximately 80% of the pre COVID-19 volume, and rising steadily.
- Our satellite Lab and Radiology facility on Ocean Avenue remains temporarily closed, while we work on plans for its reopening. Our target date for reopening is Monday, June 15.
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.
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 in the next update!) Vons Market; Celeste Dugré; Subway; Sleep Center; Doreen Ross; Lompoc Pizza Hut; Superior Home Health; Miguelito Elementary School;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; 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.
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