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Flatten The Curve

Few of us have ever actually run a marathon, but the measures we are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have much in common with running or walking 26.2 miles.

The good news: We’re making a difference. Social distancing, hand washing and working from home have helped Tulare County “flatten the curve.” While people are getting sick from the coronavirus, many of our most vulnerable have not, meaning the hospital isn’t overcrowded with very sick people. We still think the surge, or peak, of infections is yet to come, perhaps in the first week of May. If we can keep that to a minimum, our team will have enough equipment and room to take care of everyone who does get sick.

With a population of 450,000, our latest data indicates that Tulare County has 352 positive cases—which is a concerning figure that comes from Coventis, a free model showing that the Kern and Tulare County regions count with 1.3 million people. The model suggests that we will see a peak of the virus in the first or second week of May. However, it indicates a relief in the height of the peak, demonstrating only 20 cases a day, which is still a very low number considering it was around 70-100 cases per day a couple a weeks ago. This progress is thanks to that collaborative community effort that will eventually lead us to defeat this virus.

Nevertheless, the run isn’t over.

These are uncertain times and that is why it’s crucial that we don’t throw in the towel, yet. We’re almost there. Remember, slow and steady always wins the race. We must stay consistent with our precautionary measures. We should not back or slack off in our preventative efforts. We will overcome this, ideally sooner than we all expect it.

But we can only do that if the public does its part. Stay home as much as possible, wear a mask when you must be out among other people. Wash your hands frequently, work from home if possible. You’re doing a great job - keep doing it!

Kaweah Health will continue with the measures we’ve taken, too, such as limiting hospital visitation, providing protective gear for clinical personnel, doing testing at outdoor locations, using telehealth services to treat minor medical issues, and taking great care of our patients.

Together, we can cross that marathon finish line. We may not be able to see the end of the race yet, but every day gets us a little closer. Don’t quit yet, we’re going to finish this race proudly.