LOMPOC — The COVID-19 situation is worse in Lompoc than it was two weeks ago, according to the CEO of Lompoc Valley Medical Center.
“Two weeks ago, I reported that ‘things are going relatively well regarding COVID in the Lompoc area,’ ” Steve Popkin wrote in a letter Friday to the community and media. “Not so much right now. The situation in Lompoc is not much different than that of Santa Barbara County, which is not much different than that of California.
“On one hand, we are fortunate that only 1 of the county’s 25 COVID hospitalized patients is at LVMC. On the other hand, the rate of new COVID cases is somewhat higher in Lompoc than it is countywide,” Mr. Popkin said. “Typically, the rate of new COVID cases is a forebearer of COVID hospitalizations.
“Although Santa Maria has roughly twice the population as the Lompoc Valley, the two areas have the same number of active COVID cases (47 vs. 48),” the CEO continued. “Lompoc Valley and Santa Barbara have roughly the same number of active cases, after adjusting for population size.”
Mr. Popkin estimated Lompoc is experiencing 3.5 new cases a day, up from 0.75 cases a day one month ago.
Like other health professionals on the local, state and national levels, Mr. Popkin sees vaccinations as the answer to getting the case numbers down.
He said that if the more than 130,000 unvaccinated, eligible people in Santa Barbara County got their two doses, “the COVID situation in the county would be very well controlled, regardless of the infectious nature of the Delta variant.”
— Dave Mason