Frequently Asked Questions
Community Engagement Virtual Meeting - Thursday, August 27
Question #1: Current Numbers
Positive cases in Tulare County - 13,514 total; 713 active
Positive Inpatients at Kaweah Delta - 47
Deaths in Tulare County - 224
Recovered Cases in Tulare County -12,736
Positive Kaweah Delta Employees - 50 active on leave.
Tulare County Positivity Rate - 11.6% (as of 08/24)
Kaweah Delta Hospital Census – 302 adult patients (226 at Medical Center; 43 in ICCU; 33 in ICU)
as of 08/26
Is the percentage of COVID patients on ventilators about the same or higher
than the percentage of people who end up on ventilators from the flu?
If so, how much, approximate percentage?
ANSWER: It is not typical to record the number of patients on ventilators due to
a particular diagnosis, for example flu. However, local, State, and Federal
governments have required specific information be reported during this
unprecedented pandemic. Kaweah Delta has cared for 93 patients with COVID-19
that required a ventilator from the beginning of the pandemic’s
impact on our community through today.
Do you think your decreased positive results could be due to no longer
using the more accurate PCR test?
ANSWER: There are two ways to get the positive testing down.One, fewer people contract
the virus.The other is to start testing more people, both symptomatic
and asymptomatic. The nominator gets huge and positivity falls. We have
two testing platforms- BD Max and Abbott ID They are designed to detect
the DNA of the virus. The BD Max is the most sensitive PCR tester. I don’t
think that is why the number of cases are falling because we do continue
to use PCR tests. We have secured a third platform, Quidell. This platform
detects presence of protein on virus cell through antigens.
What is the total number of COVID-19 tests KD has taken? Why is that number
not reported on the daily reports?
ANSWER: The total number of specimens collected at Kaweah Delta for COVID-19 testing
is 26,827. The reason this number is not reported daily is that it can
be misleading. Multiple patients require repeat testing and there are
State and Federal requirements for healthcare worker personnel testing
at specific time intervals. The total number of specimens collected for
COVID-19 testing does not reflect unique collections.
How many recovered COVID-19 patients has Kaweah Delta had?
ANSWER: We have cared for 771 patients with COVID-19. 125 of those patients have
died. 47 of them are in the hospital. We have discharged 599 people from
Kaweah after caring for them while they had COVID-19. We do not keep patients
until recovery in the hospital. The County and their primary care providers
continue to monitor them at discharge for recovery status.
Question #6: How many patients were discharged? Are the deaths reported
the same day or accumulated?
ANSWER: 599 patients have discharged or transferred to another facility. We report
the deaths to the County within 24 hours, usually less. The County then
reports them in their numbers Monday through Friday.
Question #7: If you only test symptomatic patients how will the positivity
rate ever go down?
ANSWER: Up until now, we have historically followed the CDC and State recommended
guidelines to test only those patients that are symptomatic, exposed to
someone who was COVID-19 positive or coming in for surgeries. Because
the absolute shortage of COVID-19 test kits and diversion of our contracted
allocations by the Federal Government, if we had not stuck to that prioritization,
we would have ran out of COVID-19 test kits months ago which would have
placed our community at great risk without the ability to test patients
coming into the hospital. Fortunately, however, we have just recently
received shipments of our new point of care devices along with 15,000
test kits that we will be deploying throughout our clinic network. Through
our partnership with the State and Tulare County Public Health Department,
we will be able to begin testing a much broader base of patients, particularly
in our more rural and underserved areas and began hosting community testing
events and providing results within 24 hours. We are looking forward to
see what this increased testing will do to our positivity rate.
When will we ever get off the watch list?
Why are the hospitalizations dropping so much while the number of positive
cases is consistently increasing? Is it possibly because those who are
spreading infection are younger?
We have seen an increase in the younger population, and suspect that hospitalizations
have decreased because younger patients tend to have better immune response.
What are we talking about when we talk about our social bubbles?
Your immediate family. You know your social bubble when they exercise behavior
and you trust them 100%. A group of people you feel really safe with and
hold dear the same values you do. That everyone holds everyone accountable.
Question #11: Why haven’t we seen positive cases in day cares?
Question #12: Are we doing Flu shots at our clinics yet?
ANSWER: Flu vaccines will be available in our clinics and urgent care centers around
October 1, 2020.