A Message from VNA Health President & CEO Lynda Tanner
July 2, 2020
Dear Family and Friends of VNA Health,
We have been living with COVID-19 for 184 days. We have been the United States of America for 244 years. We will overcome the battle against the COVID-19 Pandemic.
As we go into the 4th of July weekend, in the midst of COVID-19 surging in our nation, let us remember that as we celebrate the holiday and our nation’s independence, we also have the responsibility to celebrate safely as we are interdependent on each other. We can do this for our community and country. More importantly, you can do this for your family, your friends, your colleagues, your neighbors…and yourself.
Three weeks ago, Santa Barbara County entered Stage 3 of reopening, and just last week personal care businesses were allowed to reopen. Our county experienced a dramatic increase in new cases and hospitalizations during this time period, primarily due to community transmission.
Yesterday alone, there were 96 new confirmed positive cases reported. 12 skilled nursing and long-term care facilities in our county have reported at least one staff or resident testing positive for the virus during this period, including a major outbreak in Santa Maria. As of July 2, Santa Barbara County has had a total of 3,261 positive cases and 29 COVID-related deaths.
|MODE OF TRANSMISSION (7/2/20)||SANTA BARBARA COUNTY||VENTURA COUNTY||SLO COUNTY|
(or Community Close Contact)
|Under Investigation / Unknown||1,010||1,399||99|
|Persons Incarcerated at Federal Prison
in Lompoc Close Contact
Though we have not had any employees test positive for COVID-19 yet, VNA Health recently implemented mandatory COVID-19 testing for those providing direct patient care or who work in a patient care area. This means our nurses, therapists, and other care providers will be tested on a monthly basis. Staff who test positive will be immediately excluded from work and must quarantine at home in accordance with public health guidelines. We remain committed to doing our part to halt asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 in our patient population, our community, and in the facilities we serve.
In an effort to be proactive in our battle against COVID-19, this week Governor Newsom also ordered closure of certain sectors in 19 counties, including Santa Barbara and Ventura. Effective July 1, dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos and museums, and card rooms must close all indoor operations. Restaurants may continue to offer food for pick-up or delivery. These closures will be in effect for at least three weeks, as California faces a surge in new cases, higher infection rates, and increased hospitalizations.
Today, our Public Health Officer ordered all county beaches closed for the 4th of July weekend effective tomorrow and continuing through Sunday, July 5. This closure includes the prohibition of non-exercise, sedentary activities such as sitting, sunbathing or laying out on the beach. In addition, umbrellas, tents, grills, beach chairs, etc. will NOT be permitted on the beaches. The Sheriff will be out with augmented patrols to monitor the beaches and trailheads adjacent to the beaches.
Though the frequent changes during the pandemic can be stressful, I encourage everyone to take three simple actions to stay safe:
The recent anniversaries of the 1990 Painted Cave Fire and the 1925 Great Earthquake, remind us that we live with the possibility of wildfires and of an earthquake. Also with warmer weather comes possible Red Flag Warnings and Public Safety Power Shut-Offs (PSPS). This is a good time to review your family emergency plan and emergency kit. During a disaster, being aware and prepared is important and can be a great advantage to staying safe.
Be Aware: Sign up for emergency text alerts
Be Prepared: Create a plan and pack a Go-Bag for your Car
CARING FOR OUR COMMUNITY THROUGH ANY CRISIS
Since 1908 and through every emergency crisis – fire, flood, earthquake, or pandemic – VNA Health sustained service and care for our community. Even now, as the COVID-19 situation evolves again, VNA Health continues to safely provide home health care, palliative care, hospice care, and bereavement care. The Loan Closet remains open (by appointment) and Serenity House continues to be a home away from home for patients and their families.
Keeping our staff safe and healthy are vital to sustaining our care for our community. Therefore, as a nurse, and on behalf of all our healthcare partners, I ask you to help us continue to be there for you and your family by wearing a mask and following the safety protocols. We are all in this together, and the power to protect our health and independence is within each of us.
Happy Independence Day!
Lynda Tanner, RN, MSN
President & CEO
SOCIAL DISTANCING TO FLATTEN THE CURVE
"Our goal is simple, we need to bend the curve and disrupt the spread of the virus.” – Governor Gavin Newsom
PROTECT YOURSELF & LOVED ONES
We know that COVID-19 spreads person-to-person, through close contact via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects. As with other respiratory illnesses like the cold and flu, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from germs and viruses.
DIY FACE COVERINGS
Per our SB County Public Health Dept, there is limited evidence to suggest that use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic could help reduce disease transmission. Their primary role is to reduce the release of infectious particles into the air when someone speaks, coughs, or sneezes, including someone who has COVID-19 but feels well. Cloth face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing, washing your hands, and staying home when ill, but they may be helpful when combined with these primary interventions. The use of facemasks also is crucial for health workers and other people who are taking care of someone infected with COVID-19 in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
Typical symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and fatigue. If you develop symptoms, please call your physician. If you are going to see your doctor, call ahead so that precautions may be taken prior to your arrival.
Individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 seeking care at a hospital emergency department, please call ahead if possible, or stop outside the emergency entrance and call the phone number provided at the entrance doors. A staff member will provide a properly fitted mask and assist with protected entry to avoid exposure to others.
If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
CARING FOR SOMEONE WITH COVID-19
For those who are caregivers of family members who have the flu or COVID-19, it is important to protect yourselves as well. Please review the "COVID-19 Recommendations for Family and Caregivers" guidance from the CDC.
STORES OFFERING DESIGNATED SHOPPING TIME FOR SENIORS & IMMUNOSUPPRESSED
PUBLIC HEALTH AGENCIES• Santa Barbara County Public Health Department
• San Luis Obispo County
• California Department of Public Health
• US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
• World Health Organization