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LVMC Community Update, October 1, 2021

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  • Written By: Steve Popkin
LVMC Community Update, October 1, 2021

This week our CEO updates the community on our Vaccination Clinics, Covid Hospitalizations, the Vaccination Mandate for Healthcare Workers, our Bariatric Surgery Program and more.

Dear Lompoc Valley Community:

What happened on this date in history?

  • 1888 – National Geographic Magazine published for the first time.
  • 1908 – Henry Ford introduced the Model T car, at a cost of $825.
  • 1962 – Johnny Carson hosted his first “The Tonight Show.” Guests included Rudy Vallee, Tony Bennett, Mel Brooks, and Joan Crawford.

Quote of the week

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” --Haruki Murakami

COVID-19 and Vaccinations

LVMC Vaccination Clinics

Now that booster doses have been approved, we have expanded the number of vaccination clinic days. We are holding vaccination clinics on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm, and Fridays from 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm.

As we are still trying to project the demand for booster shots, we recommend scheduling an appointment at Walk-ins are welcome, but if demand is greater than capacity on a particular clinic day, priority will be given to those with an appointment.

At the vaccination clinics, we are offering first doses, second doses, booster doses, and “additional doses.”

The additional doses are the third dose for the severely immunocompromised. We are offering both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The additional dose should be received at least 28 days after the second dose.

For booster doses, only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved, to date. It is available for those who attest to either being: age 65 or older; a resident in a long-term care setting; age 50-64 with certain underlying medical conditions; age 18-49 with a high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions; age 18-64 with increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational factors.

A booster dose should be received at least six months after the second dose. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are expected to be considered for booster dose approval, soon.

Covid Statistics. Due to backlogged case reporting, the county has not updated the Covid case rate since September 15. But, between the recent peak of August 13, and September 15, there has been a continuing downward trend. California has the lowest Covid positivity rate in the country, at 2.8%. At 3.6%, the county rate is higher than the state but still lower than the county rate of 9.2% on August 15, and 3.9% on September 17.

Covid Hospitalizations. The number of Covid hospitalized patients in the county decreased significantly about two weeks ago and has remained rather steady since then. Three are approximately 45 hospitalized patients in the county. At LVMC, there are currently 4 hospitalized patients, with 2 receiving ICU care.

Vaccination Figures

In Santa Barbara County, 68.4% of the eligible population (12+) is fully vaccinated, compared to 66.9% two weeks ago. 76.6% of the eligible population has had at least one dose, compared to 75.4% two weeks ago. 57.9% of the entire county population is fully- vaccinated, compared to 56.6% two weeks ago. 64.9% of the entire population has had at least one dose, compared to 63.9% two weeks ago.

The vaccination rate for Santa Barbara County is a little below that of California overall. For example, 78.5% of the eligible California population has had at least one dose, versus 76.6% for Santa Barbara County. Within Santa Barbara County there is a great disparity by region. For example, 65% of the entire south county population has had at least one dose, versus 52.2% for north county and 49.8% for central county. However, the State’s interactive website shows Lompoc as having 58% of the entire population fully vaccinated. I do not know why there is such a difference between the state site showing 58% for Lompoc, and the county site showing 49.8% for central county.

As we have seen over the past few months, the percentage of the county population that is vaccinated continues to creep up, now at a rate of less than 1 percentage point per week. Just from observation, it seems that the majority of the newly vaccinated are making their decision to vaccinate not as a result of outreach, or messaging, or having an epiphany, but rather a result of various types of vaccine mandates, or simply the realization that it will be easier to navigate through their lives if vaccinated.

Vaccination Mandate for Healthcare Workers

You may be aware of the State Public Health Officer Order that mandates healthcare workers in certain settings, which includes all LVMC facilities, be vaccinated by September 30, or have an approved religious or medical exemption and be Covid tested once or twice per week, depending on their job function and location.

The status of LVMC employee compliance with the State Order is as follows:

  • Of the 843 LVMC employees and contract staff, 93.2% are fully vaccinated.
  • After the partially vaccinated staff receive their final vaccine dose, 95.1% will be fully vaccinated.
  • 39 religious or medical exemptions have been granted. Those individuals will continue to be Covid tested once or twice per week, depending on their job function and location.
  • 3 per diem employees are not in compliance with the Order and have been suspended effective October 1.

LVMC Potpourri

I am pleased to report that this week our Bariatric Surgery Program received its official accreditation as a “Comprehensive Center” by MBSAQIP (Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program). This is the gold standard of accreditation and is a testament to the outstanding work done by bariatric surgeons, Dr. Taglia and Dr. Bounoua, as well as our excellent LVMC staff.

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