To my family of friends and patients,
Once again, here is some information from Hoag Hospital that may be of interest to you. (For those of you outside of Orange County, I’m sure similar things may be happening in your own communities.)
No music today. I don’t want to trivialize the following important current information from Hoag Hospital and the Orange County Health Care Agency (www.ocgov.com). I just wanted to let you all know the troubling facts of our local COVID-19 situation, so you can take appropriate actions if necessary.
COVID-19 is exploding in Orange County and already affecting operations at Hoag Hospital. According to the OC Covid dashboard, the Orange County average new case rate per 100,000 has increased by over 600% in the last 2 weeks (the rate is more than double that for ages 19-44)! The Hoag Hospital general census is full and the Hoag Covid census is higher than it was during the summer peak, more than doubling in the last week alone. Recent policies put in place by Hoag reflect our dire situation.
Current Hoag Hospital status:
Virtual meetings only: On Jan 3, Hoag mandated that effective immediately, “all meetings and events (including those at a non-Hoag facility) should be held virtually only until further notice due to the current COVID-19 surge.”
Boosters now required for all Hoag employees: Hoag has announced that they will be enforcing the recent California Dept of Public Health (CDPH) order which requires ALL eligible (6 months following the second doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine and 2 months following the first dose of the J & J vaccine) health care workers to receive a booster vaccine by February 1, 2022. This applies to all Hoag employees including those who do not work in a clinical setting.
- “To schedule a booster shot, please visit www.hoag.org/covid-vaccine to make an appointment at a Hoag Medical Group office or visit Vaccine Finder to find another location near you.” (info from Hoag hospital)
Elective surgeries canceled: On Jan 5, “all elective surgeries and procedures requiring an inpatient stay of any length will be canceled until at least January 14, 2022”. Procedures not requiring an inpatient stay can continue unchanged at this time.
Monoclonal antibody treatments severely limited compared to 2 weeks ago: Omicron now makes up more than 80% of the COVID-19 cases and there is now only one (Sotrovimab) type of treatment shown to be effective. Supplies are extremely limited.
Once again, I am providing this summary of information for the benefit of my family of patients and will close with the following stats from www.ocgov.com:
87% of hospitalized persons are unvaccinated
88% of ICU admits are unvaccinated
Now, more than at any time since the pandemic began, it’s important to please get vaccinated and boosted if you are eligible! Try to obtain and wear an N-95 mask where appropriate, and practice social distancing and proper hygiene.