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June 17 2021 Community Engagement Virtual Meeting

Thursday, June 17, 2021


    1. Positive Cases 1295
    2. Positive Cases in Kaweah Delta 5
    3. Deaths 849
    4. Positive Employees at Kaweah Delta 16
    5. Positivity Rate 8.6%
    6. Hospital Census 89%
  1. Since the announcement on Tuesday there are signs all over town about vaccinated people being able to enter without masks. How do they know who has or has not been vaccinated?
    Most businesses and facilities across the State, including Visalia and Tulare County, are operating under the “honor system”, allowing patrons to self-attest that they have been vaccinated; it is assumed by the business that if you are not wearing a mask, then you have been vaccinated. However, individual businesses are permitted to require their patrons to wear masks, even if vaccinated. Certain businesses like airlines, buses and other forms of mass transit require masks for all customers—vaccinated or not—including healthcare organizations (e.g., visitors in hospitals and nursing homes).
  2. Has Lifestyles fully opened up?
    The Lifestyle Center has fully re-opened although hours of operations are slightly reduced for now until membership and attendance picks back up. Classes have resumed; basketball court is open; Jacuzzi, saunas, locker rooms and showers all open; daycare open; no café yet but “grab and go” items available from the cold case and front desk. Masks are no longer required for self-attested vaccinated individuals (honor system).
  3. Has Kaweah brought back its remote employees?
    Most all employees that were working remotely during the pandemic have returned. However, a couple of departments—Patient Accounting and Health Information Management (Medical Records)—are continuing to work remotely and may do so on a permanent basis.
  1. One of our community members had an issue with the wait times at KATS) and wants to know if we are short staffed in that area.
    Kaweah Admissions and Testing Services (KATS) is a center where we hold all preadmission surgery testing. Maybe on this particular day, we do know that there were one or more older patients that did have medical conditions that happened to cause a 30 minutes to one hour delay for testing. We will closely monitor this and appreciate the feedback.
  1. Why was handicapped parking in front of the new emergency department eliminated? You have to have a valet park your car. Handicapped should be allowed to park their own cars in the handicapped area.
    It appears that the air-ambulance helicopters that come and go from our helipad cause more-than-expected flying-debris in the handicap parking area. As such, we will be relocating the handicap parking for the ED, further away from the helipad, and have temporarily roped it off and allowed the valet staff to use the space.
  2. Emergency Department Opening Update
    The only remaining hurdle to overcome is to demonstrate to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that we have adequate staffing (nurses, techs, doctors and support staff) to support patient demand in a safe manner. We believe that we have appropriate staffing to support the coverage in 57 of our 73 total exam rooms (Zones 1 through 6, including the new 24-bed Zone 5). Earlier this week, we submitted a revised plan of staffing to CDPH asking for approval to fully open Zone 5 but to close 16 of our beds in other zones until we have additional staffing to safely support them. We hope to hear back from CDPH this week or early next week.
  1. When will visitors be allowed at the outpatient clinics?

We have several outpatient clinics and the majority will start allowing up to two visitors in the next few days.