Frequently Asked Questions
Community Engagement Virtual Meeting
Community Engagement Virtual Meeting - Thursday, February 11, 2021
QUESTIONS FOR 02/11/2021 COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT MEETING
CURRENT NUMBERS FOR COUNTY
Of 402,000 COVID-19 tests administered throughout the County, 47,000 have
tested positive for a cumulative positivity rate of 11.6%.
Positive Cases in Kaweah Delta
Today there are 81 COVID-positive adults in the acute medical center with
nine on ventilators.
The County is reporting a total of 672 COVID-related deaths since the beginning
of the pandemic, representing 1.45% of those who contracted the virus;
equates to 140 deaths per 100,000 population. 77% were over 65 years old.
The County is reporting that 39,994 have recovered.
Positive Employees at Kaweah Delta
We currently have 52 employees out on a COVID-related leave of absence.
The seven day positivity rate for the County is at 9.9%.
As of 7:03 this morning, KD’s adult inpatient census at its acute
medical center was 95.0% with only 25 beds available.
Do you have an update on the program you started at Lifestyles Center for
students of employees? Is it still active? Was it a beneficial addition
for families with students?
Yes, the program is still active. It has been extremely beneficial to our
staff and families. Staff have told us that it allows both parents to
keep working and not take a leave of absence or quit their job. It allows
the children a safe and socially-distanced environment where they can
safely Zoom as well as get social interaction, which is so needed for
their mental health and a degree of stability during these trying times.
The Center is licensed for up to 60 kids a day ages 5-13. We currently
have 70 kids enrolled in the program. Our average is 45-50 on any given
day. We have very limited space open for new students at this time. We
are having to evaluate on a case by case basis as to if they need Full
Time M-F, Mornings Only, Afternoons Only, or a “drop in” type basis.
One of our local schools is going to start giving teachers a COVID self-testing
kit. Can you speak to this? I have questions about accuracy wait time
There are COVID-19 “at home collection kits” and “at
home testing kits”. An example of an “at-home collection kit”
comes from Everlywell. It is FDA-EUA approved and requires only a lower
nasal, or nares, swab. You ship, free of charge, your specimen collection
to a designated lab who promises electronically-communicated results within
24-48 hours of being received. The specimen is run on a PCR Molecular
platform and claims to produce results at 95% sensitivity and 98% specificity.
The test costs $109 and is claimed to be covered by insurance.
Then there is an “at-home testing kit”, like the one made by
Lucira.It’s FDA-EUA approved test claims to be a molecular-based
test using a nasal swab to collect the sample.You must have a physician’s
order/prescription to receive the kit.The sample swab is swirled in a
vial that comes with the kit and in 30 minutes or less the results can
be read directly from the test unit’s light up display.They are
sold to healthcare providers for $1,200 for 24 single-use kits ($50 per
kit).They claim to have a 94% sensitivity rate (ability to identify positive
results) and 98% specificity (ability to identify negative results).
There is a lot in the news about the CDC saying that schools can reopen
and the churches just won a battle at the Supreme Court level regarding
having in-person services. Are you concerned about these decisions since
the numbers are still high?
I would be greatly concerned if schools and churches do not follow the
COVID-avoidance precautions that are conditions for schools and churches
to re-open to in-person activities—masking, social distancing, etc.
I also very concerned about the physical and mental health and well-being
of our children and I believe that prohibiting in-person schooling might
be causing great harm to our children. I have also read that for the many
schools that have re-opened, the incidence of virus spread has been extremely low.
Have our testing numbers declined at our testing sites? How many COVID
tests are being performed each day at our sites?
No. We are still performing a significant number of COVID tests each day
at our various clinics and in the parking lot of the Lifestyle Center.
January 2021 was our highest month ever for COVID-19 testing where we
performed 18,182 tests; December ranked second highest with 17,676 tests;
and November ranked third highest with 10,752 tests.
Is KD reopening non-emergent surgeries? Any updates on reopening Lifestyle Center?
Effective February 1st, we resumed elective surgery and procedures with limitations: 6 elective
inpatient surgeries per day and unlimited elective outpatient surgeries
and procedures with high assurance that they would not require an overnight
stay. Beginning February 15th, we are increasing inpatient elective surgeries and procedures to 10 per
day. With respect to the Lifestyle Center, we cannot reopen until our
County moves into Tier 2, Red under the State’s “Blueprint
for a Safer Economy” program; when that happens, we will be limited
to 25% of licensed occupancy.
What are your thoughts on Dr. Fauci’s latest suggestion, and now
the CDC’s recommendation, that people should double mask?
I think some of it has to do with the new COVID-19 variants we are seeing
in the U.K., South Africa, Brazil and now the U.S. Scientists and others
are concerned that they are much more contagious, more-easily spread and
can better elude COVID vaccine antibodies. Single masks are generally
made of porous layers of material that allow you to breathe but each layer
is offset slightly so that the “holes” don’t line up
exactly and create a web that prevents micro-molecules from reaching your
mouth or nose. If you add a second mask on top of a first, usually a cloth
mask over a surgical or medical mask, you create an additional barrier.
Dr. Fauci and the CDC are recommending double masking for the general
public who does not have access to N95 masks or is reserving them for
healthcare workers. According to the CDC, they are most concerned that
single cloth masks and general medical masks do not fit tightly enough
against a person’s face to prevent aerosolized virus from slipping
into openings. A second mask over a general, three-ply mask helps close
these gaps; the CDC’s website also provides guidance on how to tie
knots in the ear-loops to create a tighter fit.
Are the vaccines becoming more readily available to community members?
The County has reported they have received 49,000 doses and have administered
33,500. A lot of vaccinations are occurring, just not as fast as we need
them to. The State has made the decision to contract with Blue Shield
to take over the distribution and administration of the vaccines and they
are wanting vaccinations to be done through the provider network. We are
preparing ourselves to vaccinate patients of Kaweah Delta and will most
likely be working with Blue Shield for mass vaccination events.