This week our CEO updates the community on COVID-19 and the vaccine distribution.
Dear Lompoc Valley Community:
What happened on this date in history?
- 1984 - AIDS-virus was identified as HTLV-III (acquired immune deficiency syndrome)
- 1985 - New Coke debuted; Coca-Cola announced it is changing its secret flavor formula
- 2003 – Beijing closed all schools for two weeks because of the SARS virus, known technically as SARS-CoV (Coronavirus). First appearing in China in 2002, the disease spread to 29 countries before it was stopped.
Quote of the Week
“The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.”
- As most of you know, Santa Barbara County has advanced to the Orange Tier (San Luis Obispo County remains in the Red Tier).
If you would like to see what you can and cannot do in the Orange Tier, and how that compares to the red and other tiers, please click and view this link: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/COVID-19/Dimmer-Framework-September_2020.pdf
- Covid positive hospitalized patients in Santa Barbara County are at an all time low since the beginning of the pandemic. Currently, there are 9 hospitalized patients, with only 1 in ICU. There are no Covid positive inpatients at LVMC.
- This week we administered Pfizer first doses each day, Monday through Friday. All appointments were scheduled through the State’s MyTurn scheduling and registration system, at myturn.ca.gov. For the week we had approximately 2,000 appointment slots available, and most of those slots were filled. However, there was approximately a 12% “no-show” rate, which is consistent with the rate I have been hearing from our Vaccination Provider colleagues.
- We will be administering second doses of Pfizer and Moderna all next week, Monday through Friday. These second doses are for individuals who had their first doses scheduled directly through LVMC, not through MyTurn. Therefore, these second doses are not scheduled through MyTurn; the appointment dates are shown on the back of the individuals’ Vaccination Record Card.
- Beginning the week of May 3 (the week after next), we will again be administering first doses, with appointments being scheduled through MyTurn. Appointment scheduling on MyTurn opens up a few days before the first appointment date. So, you cannot schedule an appointment right now for the week of May 3, but please go to myturn.ca.gov a few days prior to May 3, or during the week of May 3, and schedule an appointment then. When you schedule your first dose appointment on MyTurn, you will also schedule your second dose appointment. If you have questions about the MyTurn system or do not have internet access, you may call 1-833-433-5255 to hear recorded information and/or speak with a representative.
- As a high percentage of Santa Barbara County and California residents have already received at least their first vaccine dose, and the supply of vaccine is plentiful, the demand for vaccinations has lagged vaccination appointment availability. It is very important that as many people as possible get vaccinated, and there should be no problem obtaining a vaccination appointment, either at LVMC or elsewhere.
- Although it has not been officially decided or announced, it is expected that in mid-May the vaccination eligibility age will be reduced from age 16 to 12. This, coupled with the requirement that UCSB students be vaccinated in order to return to campus, is expected to generate an increase in vaccination demand. So, this is a good time to get vaccinated, while appointments are readily available.
- According to County data, approximately 45% of the entire Santa Barbara County population has received at least one vaccine dose. This does not include doses administered through pharmacies and certain federal programs. So, my guess is that would raise the figure to at least 50% of the population. This would mean that approximately 63% of the population 16 and older has been at least partially vaccinated. Not too much more to go!
- California has the same percentage of population that has received at least one vaccine dose as Santa Barbara County (45%). This ranks California 11th out of the 50 states.
LVMC Potpourri (hey, that rhymes)
- We have several “honor weeks” coming up. This week is National Volunteer Week and Health Information Professionals Week. May 6-12 is Nurses Week, and May 9-15 is Hospital Week, at which we celebrate all LVMC employees. (Our Chief of Staff, Dr. Pierce, was lamenting that everyone else gets weeks and physicians only get Doctors Day…life isn’t always fair!) We are extremely thankful for and proud of, all of our LVMC Team…employees, volunteers, and medical staff members…for the incredible work they do for LVMC and our community!
- In an effort to enhance convenience for Lompoc Health patients, we recently implemented the option to pre-register online for office visits. We have also added a laboratory draw station at our North Third Street Facility and will soon be re-opening our Ocean Avenue laboratory location. For our North H Street Facility, we are making changes to our laboratory registration process to improve efficiency. There are several other “behind the scenes” initiatives we are doing to enhance the patient experience at Lompoc Health, and we always welcome comments and suggestions from patients and community members.
- Due to a “glitch” with Anthem Blue Cross (Anthem), some Lompoc Health patients who are Anthem HMO members were reassigned by Anthem to other primary care physicians out of the area. Anthem is working with us to rectify this situation. Next week, LVMC will send a letter to all potentially impacted individuals informing them of the simple process to change back to a Lompoc Health primary care physician. If you have a situation related to this that needs immediate attention, please feel free to email or call me, and we will help you get the situation resolved.
Chief Executive Officer