June 9, 2020

It’s been nearly three weeks since our last letter to you. There is enough happening to warrant an update.

None of us will know if there is a connection between the rise in COVID-19 cases locally and the demonstrations and reopening of the country, but we do know this: Eisenhower is focused daily on care and healing, and we pray for these values to spread into our community and beyond.

Internally, we continue to fight the good fight against this pathogen. Please see the graph below and notice the rise in COVID-19 positives.

We went from 20 patients in the hospital in early May to 39 inpatients today. However, these do not represent the same types of patients. In May, the rise in inpatients came primarily from assisted living and nursing homes. Statistically, we are trending close to the national average where our most severe cases, as well as deaths, are from patients who were 70 and over: vulnerable, with pre-existing conditions. However, at some point later in May, we started to experience an increase of sick, COVID-19-positive patients who were younger (between the ages of 40 and 65) who work and live in the valley full-time.

To be admitted for COVID-19 means you are sick enough to require medical attention in the hospital, and you need help fighting the virus (perhaps you have shortness of breath and low oxygen levels). For every COVID-19 inpatient, we’re most likely recommending 10 to self-quarantine at home. (The good news is our more recent younger patients are not needing ventilators as did our elderly patients.)

The main point: hundreds of people are supposed to be quarantining at home. This presents a risk to many in the community, as the virus remains and is spreading through asymptomatic people.

The message for all of us is to remain vigilant. If you find yourself entering a place of business, like a restaurant, and notice they are not practicing safe hygiene, such as wearing masks or making hand sanitizer available and social distancing, you ought to leave for your own safety. From our experiences, most Valley establishments are opening with all of these safety precautions in place.