Dear Lompoc Valley Community:
Those of you who pay close attention to these weekly updates (if any!) might notice that I changed the heading from COVID-19 Community Update, to just Community Update. That is because, beginning with this edition, I have included updates on some matters in addition to COVID-19. I know we are all looking forward to a time when COVID-19 no longer consumes us. Although it may not seem like it now, I firmly believe that time will be upon us sooner than we think.
Select Santa Barbara County COVID-19 Statistics and Analysis
- This week (June 19-25) has been a “mixed bag” in regard to Covid-19 data and indicators.
- The least reliable indicator is the number/percent of new COVID-19 positive cases. The lack of reliability is due to inconsistency over time regarding the number of tests performed, and the nature of individuals being tested (i.e.: symptomatic, asymptomatic, pre-op, self-referred, physician referred, etc.). During the week, the County of Santa Barbara (excluding the FCC) had 375 new COVID-19 positive cases, representing a 30% increase in the total number of positive cases. Breaking it down by area, Lompoc Valley had 17 new cases, representing a 14% increase. Santa Barbara had 63 new cases, representing a 36% increase. Santa Maria had 211 new cases, representing a 30% increase.
- For healthcare workers, there has been a slower COVID-19 growth rate than in the general public. This week the number increased from 127 to 146, representing a 15% increase.
- Next in line regarding reliable indicators is COVID-19 positive test results as a percentage of total COVID-19 tests performed (“the positive rate”). This indicator eliminates the bias related to the number of tests performed but does not eliminate the bias related to the nature of the individuals tested. The positive test rate during this week was 5.2%. The positive test rate from day through June 18 was 7.7%. Although 5.2% is still a high rate, it is trending downward.
- A more reliable indicator is the number of hospitalized COVID-19 positive patients. As of June 24 (the June 25 numbers for this indicator were not yet posted), there were 57 hospitalized patients compared to 61 hospitalized patients on June 18. This represents a 7% reduction.
- Another relevant indicator is the number of COVID-19 positive ICU patients. On June 24 there were 20 ICU patients, compared to 17 on June 18. This represents an 18% increase.
- Considering the downward trend in total hospitalized patients, and an upward trend in ICU patients, I would consider this “a wash.” Given that the number of hospitalized patients had increased significantly over the two-week period prior to this week, I would consider “a wash” to be good news, as the upward trend has stabilized, at least for now.
- Of the 57 patients currently hospitalized in Santa Barbara County, none of them are at Lompoc Valley Medical Center.
The Champion Center
Just before COVID-19 struck, LVMC was about to enter into a lease with Crestwood Behavioral Health, Inc., wherein Crestwood would operate an 80-bed Mental Health Rehabilitation Center (MHRC) at the Champion Center site. The COVID-19 situation temporarily put a hold on that process, but the lease is now executed and Crestwood is moving full steam ahead. Crestwood expects to be partially operational by mid-September, and fully operational by the beginning of November. LVMC serves only as the landlord, and is not involved in the operations of the MHRC, and has no financial risk. LVMC will receive more than $1 Million in rent revenue per year, which is more than the amount needed to service the debt on the Champion Center. Crestwood’s MHRC will bring approximately 80 jobs to the Lompoc Community. Information regarding employment opportunities can be found on Crestwood’s website.
Refinancing of General Obligation Bonds
Effective May 5, 2020, LVMC refinanced one of two tranches of general obligation bonds that were used to build the LVMC hospital facility. This happens to coincide with the Hospital’s ten- year anniversary which is being celebrated next week on June 29. The refinancing will save property taxpayers $5.3 million over the remaining term of the bonds. If the financial market conditions remain similar to what they are now, the second tranche of bonds will be refinanced when they become eligible in mid-2021, and will provide additional savings to property taxpayers. This is our way of saying thank you to the Lompoc Valley Community who voted overwhelmingly to approve the bond measure back in 2005.
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.) Albertson’s Store #3171--and those individuals who participated with Albertson’s; Northrop Grumman; Southwest Carpenters Union; INTO THE AM CLOTHING LLC-Matt Marchione; Kathy Milham; Kimberly Todd; 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