Frequently Asked Questions
Community Engagement Virtual Meeting
Community Engagement Virtual Meeting - Thursday, April 8, 2021
Questions and Answers for 04/8/2021 Community Engagement Meeting
CURRENT NUMBERS FOR COUNTY
Tulare County has reported 49,188 COVID-positive cases since the beginning
of the pandemic.
Positive Cases in Kaweah Delta
Kaweah Delta currently has 17 COVID-positive inpatients in the acute medical
center; 3 in the ICU with 2 on ventilators.
Tulare County has reported 814 COVID-related deaths since the beginning
of the pandemic; this equates to a death rate of 1.65% (percent of COVID-positive
resident who died of COVID), or 168 COVID-related deaths per 100,000 people.
As of yesterday, April 7th, Tulare County has reported 48,076 recovered cases and 814 currently-active cases.
Positive Employees at Kaweah Delta
We currently have 16 employees and no providers that are out on a COVID-related
leave of absence; 12 of them went out on leave of absence before January 1, 2021.
As of yesterday, the County is reporting a 7-day positivity rate of 1.8%
for the overall County and a Health Equity positivity rate of 2.0% for
the quadrant of zip codes in Tulare County that have the poorest health
factors and risks. Both of these metrics fall within the Tier 3 Yellow
category of the Governor’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy program;
Tulare County’s 7-day average number of new COVID-positive cases
per 100,000 population sits at 3.1, qualifying for Tier 2 Red status;
this rate must be below 2.0 to qualify for Tier 3 Yellow.
Kaweah Delta’s adult acute inpatient occupancy rate was at 89% this
morning with 14 ICU beds open; 15 ICCU beds open; only 3 of 237 medical/surgical
beds open; and 6 overflow beds open on the 12-bed pediatric unit.
- Are vaccines at our clinics yet? What is the percentage of our County that
has been vaccinated?
We are currently administering approximately 100 doses of vaccine (Moderna
and Johnson & Johnson) on a daily basis at our Urgent Care Center
on Court Street. Beginning next Monday, April 12th, we will begin offering approximately 50 daily doses of J&J vaccine
at our Urgent Care Center on Demaree. Shortly after that, we will deploy
vaccines and vaccination capability to our five rural health clinics where
we anticipate offering an average of 80 shots per day.
- The State of California is using a population number of 484,423 for Tulare
County when calculating all of our various metrics. 61.7% of our population,
or 298,889, are over the age of 18. There have been 118,453 doses administered
to Tulare County residents over age 18; that translates to a vaccination
rate (at least one dose) of 39%, still well below the level to achieve
herd immunity (estimated at 70- 80%).
- How long will we continue to offer COVID testing if the numbers continue to drop?
- COVID-testing numbers are definitely dropping throughout the County. March
had the lowest testing volume over the past four months with about 12,000
total tests performed; April is on track to be very low; maybe less than
5,000. With that, the dedicated COVID-testing seatrains located at our
Exeter, Lindsay and Dinuba clinics will be removed by the end of April.
We will continue to offer COVID testing at the clinics as part of our
normal workflow but will try and focus community COVID testing at our
two urgent care centers located on Court Street and Demaree; Visalia Medical
Clinic will continue to offer COVID testing to its patients.
- Visitor Policy Updates
Current visitation policy:
- General Adult - 1 visitor per day 10a-9p for non-COVID patients; the 1
visitor can rotate from day to day;
- Critical Care – 1 visitor per day 10a-5p, 7p-9p for non-COVID patients;
the 1 visitor can rotate from day to day;
- NICU allowed 2 visitors 9a-6p, one visitor may stay overnight;
- Peds allowed 2 visitors 24/7;
- L&D allowed 1 visitor 24/7.
Future Next Change:
- Potential expansion of hours (starting at 8a, same end time);
- Potential expansion to 2 visitors per day; 2 visitors could rotate from
day to day but not that same day.
We do allow visitation of COVID-positive patients in the following circumstances:
- End of life;
- Deteriorating conditions;
- Major surgery/trauma (preparing for or immediately following a major surgery
with high risk of death); or,
- Family conference or plan of care changes needing family at bedside.
- Unit leadership can evaluate and grant any requests for exceptions as deemed
- Are the COVID Variants here and does the vaccine work against them?
- Last week the Tulare County Public Health Department reported that three
people in Tulare County had contracted one of the COVID-19 variant viruses:
2 with the United Kingdom’s B.1.1.7 strain and 1 with the South
Africa strain of B.1.351. Both variants are considered to be more contagious,
and possibly more severe, than the original viral strain but both Pfizer
and Moderna, along with scientists and immunologists, believe their vaccines
are still highly effective in combatting these variants. Moderna has recently
started testing a new vaccine, or booster vaccine, specifically designed
to be more effective against the South African strain.
- Have we seen any spread in our schools since they opened up?
- While we were reading about COVID-19 outbreaks among VUSD schools back
in December (14 students at Shannon Ranch Elementary quarantined and 12
students at Ivanhoe Elementary), I have not heard or read of any COVID-positive
outbreaks since schools recently reopened.