by Tia Will
The following is a summary of the major points covered and discussed at today’s one hour virtual meeting of the Yolo County Health Council. The summary is comprised of updates and discussion I perceived as of the most interest and is in no way intended to be comprehensive.
For clarity, I will present the meeting in 3 sections
- An update by Brian Vaughn presenting both medical & logistical perspectives in the absence of Dr. Chapman
- The findings and recommendations of an ad hoc committee addressing the issues of masking and face coverings
- The Yolo Roadmap to Recovery
Brian Vaughn on county COVID-19 update
- Directive issued for face coverings in businesses that deal with the public & those in which appropriate distancing for workers cannot be attained. Also applies to those waiting in lines, using public transport, taxis, Uber, Lyfte and the like.
- Current stats for Yolo County
-161 test positive
-1800 tests performed representing < 1% of the county
- Plans for increased testing/tracing
– 50 diagnostic tests are planned weekly in partnership with California Department of
Public Health and Woodland Clinic
-140 additional tests daily by van in partnership with the Office of Emergency Services
– Some new personnel have been hired and County employees currently underutilized
due to current restrictions have been retrained to serve as tracers and to be
maintained as an ongoing pool to serve what is expected to be fluctuating demand.
- Hospital surge preparedness
-Sutter Davis and Woodland Health Care both have adequate capacity at current time
– Both have established separate spaces in their ERs for suspected COVID-19 vs other diagnoses.
-Both have contingency plans for division of their facilities into a COVID-19 wing vs separate wing should need occur
-Arrangements exist between Yolo and surrounding counties for patient transfer should capacity be exceeded at one facility
-Sleep Train Arena has now been opened as an overflow capacity facility should need arise
-Current recommendation is to allow some elective surgeries to be performed at the discretion of the physician and facility
Ad Hoc Committee on Masks/Facial Coverings
- To date, there has been increased availability of face coverings largely due to the efforts of a Facebook based mask making group and a local quilting group.
- Anecdotally, from one clinic at which workers were being asked to use the same mask for one week, there is still need. Also suggestive of additional need are the presence of visiting
nurses in the community.
- Need for both surgical masks and face coverings is anticipated to rise given the new mandate.
- It was noted that both Target and multiple online sources have cloth masks available
- County personnel have been contacting identified key businesses now open & those anticipated to open with regard to the new rules regarding face coverings. The county also has infographics on the rules posted on the county COVID Dashboard which will be being updated as the situation changes.
- The county has been spot checking skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities to ensure compliance with recommendations given the vulnerable nature of these populations. Discussed was extending this to home health care providers.
Yolo Roadmap to Recovery
- This is a document in process of development using identified best practices for a step wise return to a more normal pattern of movement and economic activity in our county.
- Any steps taken must be in compliance with state regulations
- It is anticipated that this will be a fluid document with changes enacted as the rate of COVID-19 cases fluctuates in response to any given set of changes.
- Contingencies considered will be how to respond if the state shelter in place order were to be significantly altered or rescinded.
- The tentative reopening schedule with timing of various activities was briefly discussed
- The point was reiterated that testing has been numerically inadequate and inconsistent as practiced by the county vs private testing. All testing entities within the county report directly to the county with some reporting all tests, some reporting only positives. Also there is variability between counties and some confusion has arisen between county notification as patients move from one county to another. This is a well known problem which is being worked on.
- The need for increased collaboration between the county and various community groups including city councils and Chambers of Congress was stressed as part of the decision making as steps to loosen restriction in a safe and equitable manner are made.
- Emphasized once again was the point that our relatively low number of cases is attributable to, not independent of, our shelter in place and social distancing regulations and that very close observation will be essential in determining the impact of the progressive changes made in relaxation of these policies.