This week our CEO updates the community on COVID-19 and vaccine distributions.
Dear Lompoc Valley Community:
What happened on this date in history?
- 1956 - Soap operas "As the World Turns" & "Edge of Night" premiered on television.
- 1977 - Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" album reached #1 and stayed #1 for 31 weeks.
- 1978 – Velcro was first put on the market.
Quote of the Week
“Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some battle you know nothing about.” -J.M. Barry
- As of March 31, 16.4% of the United States population (54.6 Million people) have been fully vaccinated. (It would be a much higher percentage if it included those who have had just their first vaccine dose, and if it only included in the denominator the population 16 and older.) By comparison, 16.13% of California residents have been fully vaccinated, and with a total of 191,920 doses administered to date, 15% of Santa Barbara County residents have been fully vaccinated. California ranks 38th among the 50 states in regard to percent of the population vaccinated. New Mexico is first with 23.32% and Utah is last with 11.6%. Within Santa Barbara County, 17.9% of South County residents are fully vaccinated, compared to 11.8% for North County and 12.4% for Central County (which includes the Lompoc Valley).
- At 1.5%, California currently has the lowest Covid positivity rate of any state in the country. At 27.3%, Idaho has the highest rate of any state. The positivity rate for Santa Barbara County is 2.2% (not quite as low as California overall, but very low, nonetheless).
- At 150, California ranks 29th in regard to Covid deaths per 100,000 population. This equates to 1 Covid related death per 667 population. The two highest states are New Jersey and New York, with 276 and 256 deaths per 100,000 population, respectively. Hawaii has the lowest rate with 32 deaths per 100,000 population. By comparison, the rate for Santa Barbara County is approximately 100 per 100,000 population, about 33% lower/better than California overall. The 53 Covid related deaths of Lompoc Valley residents represent a lower per capita rate than both Santa Barbara and Santa Maria. During the first Covid surge, the death rate in Santa Barbara County stayed within a fairly tight range. However, in the second surge, the death rate shot up dramatically beginning the week of December 27. It peaked during the week of January 10, and got back to pre-surge levels by the week of February 28. (I know that I am talking/writing very matter-of-factly about Covid deaths, but our hearts truly go out to everyone who has lost a friend or loved one to Covid.)
- The number and trend of Covid positive hospitalizations is perhaps the most telling and important indicator. The number of inpatients at hospitals within Santa Barbara County has decreased significantly over the past week and currently stands at approximately 20. In addition, there is a lower percentage of hospitalized patients receiving ICU care. At LVMC, we currently have two Covid positive inpatients. Before a patient admission on March 31, we did not have a Covid positive patient admission during the preceding 18 days.
- There continues to be no Covid positive residents at the CCC.
- Monday through Wednesday of this week we administered first doses to individuals age 50 and older, and those 16-49 with a high-risk medical condition. Thursday and Friday, we administered second doses to those who received their first dose at LVMC.
- Next week we will be administering second doses Monday through Wednesday, and first doses on Thursday and Friday (April 8 and 9). We have approximately 600 individuals who have emailed or called requesting an appointment and are waiting to be scheduled. We are doing our best to schedule these individuals for April 8 or 9.
- LVMC has been onboarded to the State’s/BlueShield’s MyTurn scheduling and registration system (although many answers to questions are still pending.) Blue Shield inadvertently made LVMC “live” on the system before it was ready to do so. This resulted in vaccination appointments being scheduled through MyTurn for April 12-16. April 14-16 conflicts with second dose vaccination clinics we already had scheduled. So, through the MyTurn system, those scheduled for April 14-16 will be offered rescheduled appointments for April 12 or 13. If you are one of those impacted by this, you will receive communication directly from MyTurn. LVMC will “officially” go live with MyTurn for appointments beginning Monday, April 19. Beginning Monday, April 12, individuals may begin scheduling appointments on MyTurn for the week of April 19. These appointments, beginning April 19 will be open to anyone 16 and above, regardless of health condition. For this first full week using the MyTurn scheduling and registration system, we will only be doing 250 doses per day, to make sure that any kinks are worked out and the process flows smoothly and efficiently.
- After next week’s vaccination clinics conclude on Friday, April 9, all further first dose vaccination appointments at LVMC must be scheduled through MyTurn. So, anyone who has emailed or called and is on our to-be-scheduled list and has not had their first vaccine dose by Friday, April 9, will need to go to myturn.ca.gov to register for an appointment. Once again, we are trying to get everyone who has requested a vaccination scheduled for an appointment by April 9. For those who are required to “re-request” (hopefully a small number), I apologize.
- Those who had their first vaccine dose at LVMC on or before April 9 do not need to use MyTurn for their second dose appointment. Simply return to LVMC on the date shown on the back of your Vaccination Record Card, at approximately the same time as your first dose appointment.
- Santa Barbara County Public Health Department held (and is holding) a vaccination clinic in Lompoc, at the Dick DeWees Center, from last Sunday through this Saturday. However, there are no more appointment slots available. I am not sure of the exact number of doses they will have administered during the week, but if they filled all the appointment slots, they will have administered 9,450 doses, which is a very large number. Next week, from April 5 through April 11, a vaccination clinic will be held in Santa Maria, at Allan Hancock Community College. It is open to all who live or work in Santa Barbara County, and are 50+ or 16-49 with a high-risk medical condition. There are currently appointment slots available. To learn more, and to register for an appointment, click on the following link: https://publichealthsbc.org/phd-vaccination-clinics/
Chief Executive Officer