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LVMC Community Update, July 23, 2021

  • Category: LVMC Updates
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Steve Popkin
LVMC Community Update, July 23, 2021

This week our CEO updates the community on COVID-19 and Vaccinations, Covid Hospitalizations and New Case Rate, and Vaccination Figures.

Dear Lompoc Valley Community: 

What happened on this date in history? 

  • 1903 – Ford Motor Company sold its first automobile, a Ford Model A; five years later it introduced the hugely influential Model T.
  • 1975 – The Nation’s Consumer Price Index, published this day, showed that yearly inflation was running at 9%.
  • 1999 – The space shuttle Columbia blasted off with the world’s most powerful X-ray telescope and Eileen Collins, the first woman to command a United States space flight.  
  • 2006 Doctors in Germany continued rolling strikes with demands for better working conditions and higher wages. This strike affected up to 700 hospitals in Germany for over a month. Nearly 70,000 doctors alternated protests while still providing basic emergency care for patients in the country. (Not that I’m suggesting this!)

Quote of the week

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”  -Saint Augustine

COVID-19 and Vaccinations

Two weeks ago, I reported that “things are going relatively well regarding Covid in the Lompoc area.” Not so much right now.   The situation in Lompoc is not much different than that of Santa Barbara County, which is not much different than that of California.

Covid Hospitalizations and New Case Rate. On one hand, we are fortunate that only 1 of the county’s 25 Covid hospitalized patients is at LVMC.  On the other hand, the rate of new Covid cases is somewhat higher in Lompoc than it is county-wide. Typically, the rate of new Covid cases is a forebearer of Covid hospitalizations. Although Santa Maria has roughly twice the population as the Lompoc Valley, the two areas have the same number of active Covid cases (47 vs. 48). Lompoc Valley and Santa Barbara have roughly the same number of active cases, after adjusting for population size

More Covid Case Rate.  A month ago, in Santa Barbara County, there were approximately 6.7 new Covid cases per day.  Now, there are about 31 new cases per day. The new case rate has not been this high since April 7th. Assuming that the rate of new cases for Lompoc is the same as the overall county rate (since the Lompoc specific rate is not available as I am writing this), that would mean that we went from about 0.75 new cases per day a month ago, to about 3.5 new cases per day now.   The County rate of 6.9 new cases per day per 100,000 population is less than the California rate of 9.5. (The new case rate is based upon a 7-day average, so the case rate will likely increase more before it decreases.)

Positivity Rate. The Covid positivity rate in the county increased from 0.8% a month ago to 5.6% today (a 700% increase!). (In the two hours that I was writing this, the county reported positivity rate increased from 5.1% to 5.6%.) The last time the positivity rate was this high was February 16th of this year.  

Vaccination Figures. 69.0% of the eligible county population (12+) has received at least one vaccine dose (up from 67.7% two weeks ago). 58.4% of the entire county population has received at least one dose (up from 57.3% two weeks ago). 60.9% of the eligible county population has been fully vaccinated (up from 59.3% two weeks ago). 51.5% of the entire county population has been fully vaccinated (up from 50.2% two weeks ago). 

Vaccination Clinics. We continue to hold our vaccination clinics at the hospital each Friday afternoon from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. Although the volume isn’t what it once was, we still have a steady stream of individuals receiving vaccinations, and we are happy to be able to offer this service to our community. Appointments are available through MyTurn, and walk-ins are welcome. Also, we are available to provide special vaccination clinics for groups and organizations, upon request. 

Monthly Vaccination Administration. If you are a Covid vaccine statistics junkie, here is a breakdown, by month, of the almost 480,000 vaccine doses administered in the county (not including some of the Federal administration sites):

  1. December                   4,498 doses
  2. January                       36,915
  3. February                     58,956
  4. March                         111,063
  5. April                            149,852
  6. May                             74,259
  7. June                             32,020
  8. July (through 7/22)     11,896

My Soap Box. After doing the math, I found there are 138,880 residents of Santa Barbara County who are eligible for the vaccine (12 years of age and older), who have not yet chosen to be vaccinated.  Let’s take out the individuals who have a legitimate medical reason not to be vaccinated, and arbitrarily round down to 135,000. In my humble (not so humble?) non-medical opinion, if all these individuals were vaccinated, the Covid situation in the county would be very well controlled, regardless of the infectious nature of the Delta variant. About 85% of county residents over age 65 have been vaccinated. So, now, the age of newly hospitalized Covid patients is skewing younger.   Even looking at the age of Covid hospitalized patients from day one, 37% of hospitalized patients were under the age of 50, and the percentage is higher for recently hospitalized patients. Of course, everyone has the right to make their own decision about getting vaccinated. By way of example, as hard as I have tried, I cannot convince my son (who will be 30 years old in a couple of weeks) to get vaccinated. To me, after carefully weighing the pros and cons of vaccination, and eliminating the political rhetoric on both sides, the decision is a “no brainer.” I’ve noticed that the vast majority of those on television saying you have the right to make your own decision, have all been vaccinated themselves. So, having the right to make a decision, and making a smart decision, are two different things. I usually try not to express my personal opinions, as I am not here to alienate any members of our community, so thank you for indulging me.  

Thank you for your continued support, and as always, please feel free to contact me at or (805) 737-3301.  Until next time, be well and stay safe!

Steve Popkin
Chief Executive Officer