My deepest thanks to all of the hospital’s many supporters during this growing emergency which has left our community facing such uncertainty. We are on Day 15 of the Hospital Incident Command Center being in full operation, and our emergency management team has been working hard over the past two weeks in meeting the challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic. I’m so very proud to work alongside our dedicated staff, physicians and volunteers and see them handle the pressures and challenges with such grace and skill.
We don’t yet know how far, how fast, and how hard coronavirus will hit our community, but you can count on us. We are following the science and protocols outlined by the CDC and state and local health authorities. And we are heartened to see that our community is responding, doing its part in practicing social distancing and home isolation to flatten the curve.
Many have asked how many hospital beds we have in the district, county and state to respond to a potential patient surge. My response is to encourage you to not think in terms of the number of hospital beds, but more about how California’s hospitals will adjust and adapt in order to do what is needed. Our hospitals prepare for emergencies every day. This is what we do, and we will care for the patients who need us. Here in our hospital, for example, we have the ability to increase access and inpatient beds, and are gathering the necessary equipment and supplies to ensure we will be ready for an increase in patients.
Many have asked, how are we doing on resources? We now have received enough tests from the state for our symptomatic patients, and anyone who has received a test at the hospital is being followed by our physicians and the Department of Public Health. Testing has become smoother as more tests have become available, the requirements to administering testing have become less stringent, and the time to receive results is shortening.
We’ve mentioned several times, but it is worth saying again, that we are taking all the steps necessary to protect not only the public, but also our vital healthcare workforce. Our affiliate partner, UCSF Health, has been an invaluable expert resource for us as they have actively addressed this challenge for over six weeks and have generously provided their leadership and assistance.
We’re also working closely with our County Emergency Operations team, our City Manager (who is also the Emergency Services Director for the Valley), our neighbor hospitals in Sonoma County and the California Hospital Association. All of us learned many lessons during the recent fires and power outages, and we now work together much better in serving our communities.
There is much we do not know at present about how this crisis will unfold. But we want you to know that we are as prepared as we can be, and we have skilled professionals ready to respond, and adapt, as the situation requires.
In good health,
President and Chief Executive Officer
Sonoma Valley Hospital