Frequently Asked Questions
Community Engagement Virtual Meeting
Community Engagement Virtual Meeting - Thursday, March 25, 2021
Questions and Answers for 03/25/2021 Community Engagement Meeting
Current Numbers For County
48,878 countywide since beginning of pandemic; 558 currently-active cases.
Positive Cases in Kaweah Delta
25 COVID-positive inpatients currently in the acute medical center with
four in the ICU on ventilators.
801 since beginning of pandemic.
Positive Employees at Kaweah Delta
23 on a COVID-related LOA.
3.0% countywide and 4.3% in the unhealthiest quadrant of Tulare County.
308 adult inpatients in the acute medical center which translates to a
89.5% occupancy rate.
- My wife, who is an RN, would like to try and get the J&J vaccination.
Would you happen to know if Kaweah is administering the J&J?
- It’s being discussed as we speak. Our intention is to use the J&J
vaccine for skilled nursing, mental health and acute rehabilitation patients
as well as hemodialysis and radiation oncology patients; we eventually
will look to roll this into our rural health clinics but the timing is
- Has anyone died or become very ill after getting the vaccine?
- I am aware of two patient deaths at Kaweah Delta where the patient had
received their first dose of vaccination but was symptomatic at the time
they received their second vaccination. One patient was admitted somewhere
between five and seven days after receiving their second dose and the
other patient was hospitalized before they received their second dose.
Neither patient had gone through the full vaccination process of two doses
and two weeks of antibody development after the second dose. While scientists
believe that there is some level of immunity and protection after the
first dose, the 94-95% effectiveness touted by Pfizer and Moderna doesn’t
occur until after the full vaccination process.
- How did the re-opening of Lifestyle go?
- Quite well. Members are thrilled to be back and are doing a great job following
the “COVID-avoidance rules (temperature screening, handwashing,
distancing, disinfecting, wearing masks (acceptably-looser when performing
aerobic exercises). Currently at 10% occupancy, which is still 5,500 square
feet, but looking to move to 25% occupancy when we hit the Orange Tier 3.
- When do you think we will get out of the Red Tier?
- Our 7-day overall positivity rate currently sits at 3.0% which qualifies
for Tier 3 Orange placement; our Health Equity positivity rate (unhealthiest
quadrant of Tulare County) currently sits at 4.3%, also qualifying for
Tier 3 Orange placement; however, our 7-day average number of daily new
COVID cases per 100,000 population currently sits at 6.3 which only qualifies
us for the Tier 2 Red category (a county’s category placement is
based on their worst-performing metric). To move into Tier 3 Orange, our
7-day daily new case rate must be below 4.0; however, once the State administers
4 million vaccine doses to the population living in the most unhealthiest
quadrant of the State, the 7-day daily new case threshold moves from below
4.0 to below 6.0; with the County’s rate currently sitting at 6.3,
we are very close to moving into the Tier 3 Orange category which could
occur within just a couple or so weeks.
- How much longer do you think it will be before we can stop wearing masks
Some states, including Montana, Iowa, North Dakota, Mississippi, and Texas,
recently announced the end of their mask mandates. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends
that people age 2 and older wear a mask in public around people outside
of their household. It’s hard to say when we can stop wearing masks
given that the end of regular face mask wearing is tied to the end of
the pandemic. If and when we achieve herd immunity, routine mask wearing can likely be discontinued. Herd immunity means
a majority of a population is immune to an infectious disease, providing
indirect protection to those who are not immune to the disease, such as
newborns or vulnerable people who cannot get vaccinated due to health risks.
Anthony Fauci, M.D., director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy
and Infectious Diseases, recently told CNN
that it’s “possible” public health officials will continue
to recommend masks in 2022. However, he said, life should look more normal
by then, adding, “we’re going to have a significant degree
of normality beyond the terrible burden that all of us have been through
over the last year.”
- Is there still a high demand for COVID testing?
- There is but it is definitely on the decline. December was our all-time-high
month with approximately 23,000 tests, of which 20% were positive; in
January we performed approximately 21,000 tests, of which 19% were positive;
in February we performed approximately 15,000 tests, of which 13% were
positive; in March we have performed approximately 9,000 tests, of which
7% were positive.