COVID cases and calls for testing increase; hospital asks community to limit gathering
COVID cases and calls for testing increase; hospital asks community to
VISALIA – On Tuesday, the largest acute care hospital in Tulare County
reported increases in the number of its hospitalized COVID-19 patients,
as well as in the number of rapid COVID tests it is performing, and strongly
encouraged the community to limit its holiday gatherings.
On Tuesday, Kaweah Delta was caring for 52 COVID-19 patients in the hospital,
four of which were in the Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit.
On October 24, Kaweah Delta was down to just 14 COVID-positive patients
in the hospital compared to its high of 91 patients on July 25. “We’re
seeing the number of COVID-19 patients climb at a time when we’re
already very full with non-COVID cases,” said Gary Herbst, Kaweah
Delta’s Chief Executive Officer, noting that this week the Medical
Center was at 89 percent occupancy across its adult areas. “We fear
that this is the calm before the storm in many respects with the Thanksgiving
holiday coming up and Christmas and New Year’s just weeks away.”
Kaweah Delta is receiving on average 730 calls a day in November for COVID
testing, with results provided within 24 hours – that’s up
from an average of 224 calls a day in October, Herbst said. “We’re
adding staff and providers as quickly as we can to help address this increase
in need,” Herbst said. “We apologize for the waits that people
have experienced and we hope for the community’s understanding as
we work to care for them. We literally went from 115 calls on November
15 to 2,270 calls the very next day.”
On Monday, November 23, Kaweah Delta set a single-day record testing more
than 830 people across its campuses. Kaweah Delta is working to keep up
with the increase in demand for testing, which has resulted in longer
wait times for those calling Kaweah Delta’s COVID-19 Screening Hotline
and for those seeking walk-in care at Kaweah Delta’s Urgent Care
locations, at Visalia Medical Clinic’s QuickCare and at Sequoia
Prompt Care. Kaweah Delta’s COVID-19 Screening Hotline, 559-624-4110,
allows patients and members of the community seeking testing, with or
without symptoms, to schedule an appointment with a nurse practitioner.
“Many of those seeking testing are those planning to gather for the
holidays,” Herbst said. As the community prepares to gather this
holiday season, Kaweah Delta also asks people to limit holiday gatherings
to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Tulare County public health officials
have also asked the community to reduce COVID-19 cases and deaths in Tulare
County, by avoiding these high-risk activities:
- Thanksgiving gatherings with non-household members held indoors
- Potlucks, buffets, or other shared food meals
- Crowds of people and places such as shopping malls, retail stores, parades,
running events, and sports
- Contact with anyone who is sick or may have been exposed to COVID-19
“We know it’s really, really hard. It’s not the way we
normally celebrate our holidays, but we hope people can take comfort in
helping others by doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID,”
Kaweah Delta offers rapid COVID-19 testing for people whether or not they
have symptoms at a number of locations. Information is listed below on
how to be tested:
- Exeter Health Clinic, 1014 San Juan Ave.
Open: Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Lindsay Health Clinic, 839 Rd 214
Open: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Effective Saturday, Dec. 5, the clinic will be open on Saturdays from 8
a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Dinuba Health Clinic, 355 Monte Vista Drive
Open: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Urgent Care-Demaree, 3600 W. Flagstaff Ave., Visalia
Open: Daily, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Call: 559-624-6800 or get in line at
- Urgent Care-Court, 1633 S. Court St., Visalia
Open: Daily, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Call: 559-624-6090 or get in line at www.kaweahdelta.org
Rapid COVID-19 Testing is also Available at:
- Visalia Medical Clinic QuickCare, 5400 W. Hillsdale Ave., Visalia, CA.
VMC QuickCare does not accept all insurance plans. Prior to receiving services,
individuals should contact VMC to ensure their insurance is accepted.
Open: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays,
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Sequoia Prompt Care, 1110 S. Ben Maddox Way, Ste. B, in Visalia.
SPC does not accept all insurance plans. Prior to receiving services, individuals
should contact SPC to ensure their insurance is accepted.
Open: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Kaweah Delta shares COVID-19 information and regular updates with the community
on its website at
www.kaweahdelta.org/COVID19 and on its social media accounts. #