This week our CEO updates the community on the COVID-19 status of LVMC and the status of our COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
Dear Lompoc Valley Community:
What happened on this date in history?
- 1953 - Dr. Jonas E. Salk announced a vaccine had been safely and successfully used in preliminary trials on 90 children and adults as a polio vaccine. Two years later the vaccine was released and given to every child in the United States.
- 1982 - Groundbreaking ceremonies took place in Washington, D.C. for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. In 1980 congress authorized three acres near the Lincoln Memorial for the site, which receives about 3 million visitors each year.
- 1999 - Dr. Jack Kevorkian was found guilty of second-degree murder for giving a lethal injection to a terminally ill man and airing it on the television program "60 Minutes." (Currently, the only state that allows legalized doctor-assisted suicide for terminally ill people is Oregon.)
New Feature – Quote of the Day!
I have two grown children (ages 32 and 29). When they were both in high school, I began emailing or texting them a “quote of the day,” (periodically, not every day). The quotes were meant to be inspirational, motivational, and thought-provoking. They were quotes about life, change, character, perseverance, etc. They liked receiving the quotes (or so they said), so I have continued to this day texting them quotes. Now that hopefully, Covid is on the decline (as we all continue appropriate precautions and getting vaccinated), I will have more space in these community update letters to highlight other aspects of LVMC…and to include a quote of the day (or maybe it should be called quote of the week). Here we go…first one:
“Never look down on someone unless you are offering them a hand up”
Covid Status at LVMC (Hospital and CCC)
- There continues to be no Covid positive residents at the CCC.
- There is currently one Covid positive inpatient at LVMC. Over the past four weeks, LVMC has had either zero or one Covid positive inpatient. County-wide, the number of hospitalized patients decreased significantly in recent weeks and has now stabilized at approximately 40 inpatients.
- The State and County had just recently opened-up vaccination eligibility to those age 16 and older with a high-risk medical condition. Then, yesterday, the State announced that effective April 1, those age 50 and older would be eligible for vaccination, regardless of health status. Santa Barbara County announced that it would adopt the same eligibility criteria, but make it effective March 28, three days before the State’s effective date.
- So, as of this Sunday in Santa Barbara County, the following categories of people are eligible for vaccination: 1) anyone age 50 and older, 2) anyone age 16 and older with a qualifying high-risk medical condition, and 3) qualifying essential workers of any age (healthcare workers, educators, childcare workers, food workers, agriculture workers).
- The State has announced that effective April 15, everyone age 16 and older will be eligible for vaccination. The County has not yet announced whether it will follow suit or wait until most of the 50+ category has been vaccinated.
- For your reference, the qualifying high-risk medical conditions are:
- Cancer (current with a debilitated or immunocompromised state)
- Chronic kidney disease (stage 4 or above)
- Chronic pulmonary disease, oxygen-dependent
- Down syndrome
- Immunocompromised state from solid organ transplant
- Sickle cell disease
- Heart conditions (excluding hypertension)
- Severe obesity
- Type 2 diabetes
- A condition where you are likely to develop severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection
- Getting COVID-19 will limit your ability to receive ongoing care or services vital to your well-being and survival
- Getting adequate and timely COVID-19 care will be particularly challenging as a result of your disability
- This week, Monday through Saturday, we administered second doses to those who received their first doses at LVMC. Monday through Wednesday was for those 65+, and Thursday through Saturday was/is for educators.
- Next week Monday through Wednesday we will be administering first doses to those age 50 and older, and age 16 with a qualifying high-risk medical condition. (There may also be some in the essential worker categories for whom appointments have been arranged). Thursday and Friday we will be administering second doses for educators.
- At this point, we have a good amount of vaccine inventory. So, at least for the near term, we envision being able to continue vaccinating members of the community without interruption.
- March 28 (this Sunday) through April 3, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department will be holding a vaccination clinic each day from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm at the Dick DeWees Community and Senior Center. They will be administering Pfizer first doses to the same eligibility categories as described above. They will then administer second doses when they become due. To learn more and to register for an appointment, please click on the link and follow the instructions.https://publichealthsbc.org/community-vaccination-clinics/
- I will sound like a broken record, but to reiterate, once LVMC goes live with the State’s MyTurn system, the LVMC scheduling process described above will change. So, we are trying to vaccinate as many people as possible with our current process before that change is implemented. The change is most likely a few weeks away.
- The population of Santa Barbara County is approximately 446,500. Of that, there are approximately 82,000 below the age of 16, leaving 364,500 vaccine eligible individuals. Applying an assumed 30% declination rate results in 255,000 individuals who will likely request and ultimately receive a vaccination. According to County data of two days ago, 113,682 County residents have received either a first dose or are fully vaccinated. So, we are about 45% of the way to where we ultimately expect to be. As vaccine availability has recently increased and is expected to continue increasing, most projections show Santa Barbara County reaching complete vaccination status (for those who want it) during July.
- On a non-vaccine-related note, the Covid positivity rate in Santa Barbara County is at a very low 2.2%. That is well lower than the 5% threshold for the Orange Tier, and almost reaching the less-than-2% threshold for the Yellow Tier (the best tier). Unfortunately, the positivity rate is not the only factor that determines tier status.
Chief Executive Officer