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Frequently Asked Questions

Community Engagement Virtual Meeting

Community Engagement Virtual Meeting - Thursday, December 3


    1. Positive cases in County- 21,778
    2. Positive cases in hospital –79 COVID positives, six are in the Intensive Care Unit, and eight are on ventilators.
    3. Deaths in County – 314
    4. Recovered Cases – 19,549
    5. Positive Employees – 525 total, currently 102 employees are positive and quarantined at home. Four providers are in quarantine right now.
    6. Positivity Rate – 7.4% - 21.5 daily new cases per 100,000
    7. Hospital Census –94% adult occupancy (321 adult beds)
  1. Are you confident in the numbers the County/State are putting out?
  • I am very confident on the numbers we are putting out at the hospital. The County and the State have their own metrics and I trust they are reporting correct information.
  1. Are those 26% percent new COVID patients? Or were they COVID positive before entry and have antibodies?
  • They can be admitted with a comorbidity but be COVID positive. We are reporting the percentage that are COVID positive. A good number have been admitted with primary COVID diagnosis. There could be patients with a COVID diagnosis that were admitted for other causes. A patient can be admitted that test negative or show no symptoms of COVID but a few days into their stay started exhibiting symptoms and we test them and they are positive. It is hard to tell if patients contract the virus from the hospital. We feel confident that through protocols, PPE, and everything we do, we have significantly reduced the risk that a patient can contract the virus in the hospital.
  1. There is reportedly a new drug for treating COVID called Bamlanivimab, which is a neutralizing antibody treatment. Is KD using this drug or are there plans to start using this drug in the future?
  • We haven’t started infusing it yet. We do have it in our possession BAM is coming to us through the feds and through the local health dept. It is an antibody treatment. It is given to outpatients not inpatients, and is only given to a select number of outpatients. It is an emergency use drug and is recommended for patients who are at the highest risk for being hospitalized. It is believed that giving this medication that it can prevent hospitalization and reduce symptoms. It has been approved on adults and children that are age 12+ by the FDA. It produces a protein that stimulates your own antibody production and decreases severe symptoms to allow your body to build natural immunity or antibodies to destroy COVID cells. James McNulty our Director of Pharmacy is working on our medical taskforce to create the criteria currently.

5. Personal recommendation on medications?

  • Our recommendation is to eat heatlhy foods and do things that will boost your immune system, such as exercise, staying hydrated, and getting rest. You can also add Zinc and Vitamin C or D to your vitamin regime. Again, it doesn’t prevent one from contracting COVID, but it helps your body ward off infections.
  1. Rumors about vaccine:
    Implanting of a chip as a tracking device.
  • There is no doubt that The Gates Foundation supported research aimed at documenting vaccinations in 3rd world countries with less access to vaccines. The goal is to create a more robust system to determine who has and who has not been vaccinated. There is research right now that would essentially replace a syringe and this is a different type of device that is pressed into skin and punctures skin and administers vaccine but leaves behind a kind of tattoo not viewable by the naked eye. It is an ink imprint. The reason behind it is to be able to quickly know if a child or adult has been vaccinated to prevent duplicate vaccinations.

Vaccine is comprised of cells from aborted fetuses

  • This rumor is founded in facts because there are vaccines like chicken pox, rabies, etc. that have been developed using descendant cells. They relate to specific fetuses back in 1960 and 1970 where the term descendant cell comes from. Not cells of recently aborted fetuses. And there are certain COVID-19 vaccines that the pharmaceutical that are descendant fetus vaccines. Neither of the two vaccines (Moderna and Pfiser) use aborted cells or descendant aborted cells. The Catholic Church came out and acknowledged that they don’t. With that being said, one company did in fact use descendant cells during research and testing, but not in the vaccine itself.
  1. There have been announcements that the vaccinations are starting in Britain as early as next week. When will we receive the vaccine and how is the State going to disburse it?
  • We expect the vaccine will be shipped within hours of approval on December 10th. The state will receive 370,000 doses then 21 days later another 370,000. Two-Million front line workers in California are designated to get the vaccine first. We are making arrangements and converting a conference room for our vaccination station. It has a very powerful immune response and will have effects similar to the Shingles vaccine. No one will be forced to receive this vaccine.
  1. Can you speak about the recent All Facilities Letter sent by the California Dept. of Public Health about testing all hospital workers weekly? Will Kaweah Health do this? Why or why not?
  • This letter came out the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving and came as a bit of a shock. It is not being mandated by the state, but strongly recommended. We are mandated to submit a plan to CDPH by Monday at the latest. The biggest concern right now is if we have the testing platform and supplies to do it.
  1. Many of us are sending community members and employees to the testing hotline. They are waiting on hold for several hours. What is being done to relieve this backlog and are there better testing options in the County that we need to start sending people to?
  • We want to be your health care provider and we took on the mass testing without realizing the volumes that we would be dealing with.Not only were we understaffed, but some of our staff contracted the virus further exasperating our challenges.A decision was made this week that, beginning Monday, we will no longer accept walk-ins.Patients will go to the KD website and schedule their COVID test online. It will allow you to schedule 2 days in advance and let you see when the next appointment is available and will give you same day results. That will be a big change that will have significant improvement to testing throughput. I also would encourage people to go to the county website to view a listing of the numerous testing sites.The results are not same day, but they are getting better.
  1. Any changes to the visitor policy now that our numbers are back up?
    If we are changing, when will we be implementing this change?
  • Our main motivation is keeping patients, employees, visitors, and physicians safe. We are still going to allow visitors for right now, but, it will be on a much more limited basis. The team is working on a plan that will most likely roll out on Monday or Tuesday of next week with the new policy.
  1. With the rise in employee positives, is staffing a concern right now?
  • Yes, staffing is our biggest challenge right now.
  1. What is the status of PPE at Kaweah Health? Some hospitals continue to have shortages.
  • We are still struggling to build our supplies of gloves and gowns, but the availability of masks both N95 and surgical has improved. We have 350,000 N95 masks. Our goal is to stock up enough so that we can do single-use masks.
  1. When we had the surge in July, we were offered relief from the DOD. Is that an option for the holiday surge?
  • We have not been contacted. We would certainly welcome them back.
  1. With the increase in numbers are you going to stop having in-person community meetings at your facilities?
  • We have moved our December meetings to virtual only and will not be meeting in-person.