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Salinas Valley Health COVID 19 Update

Salinas Valley Health COVID 19 Update

Media Contact: Karina Rusk

Latest Information

To date, Salinas Valley Health (Salinas Valley Health) has sent 363 potential COVID 19 cases to Monterey County Health Department for testing. Of those, 326 results were negative, 26 positive and 12 are pending. We have two COVID 19 positive patients hospitalized in a designated unit for COVID 19 cases, each patient in a negative pressure isolation room. Salinas Valley Health has had no patient deaths related to COVID 19.

Salinas Valley Health is adopting a new masking policy which goes into effect tomorrow, Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Details to be released.

Salinas Valley Health Timeline

  • 04-03-20 Salinas Valley Health launches innovative program to support staff and community during COVID 19. Safety precautions and shelter in place restrictions have decreased demand for a number of healthcare services prompting Salinas Valley Health to redeploy underutilized staff to other areas of the hospital and to serve the community in other ways through non-profit efforts supporting the community during the crisis. More information can be found here.
  • 03-27-20 Salinas Valley Health launches COVID 19 Community e-Newsletter with weekly distribution. Latest edition is located here.
  • 03-23-20 Salinas Valley Health adopts a no visitor policy to help protect patients, staff and guests from the spread of COVID 19. Limited exceptions are allowed in cases of labor and delivery, pediatric unit, end of life care and as determined on select individual patient cases.
  • 03-20-20 Salinas Valley Health activates a free bilingual hotline for community members to call and get answers to their COVID 19 questions. The hotline is manned by nurses 7 days a week during the hours of 7am-7pm. The number is 831-755-0793.
  • 03-20-20 Clinical personnel begin offering a limited drive-up screening/assessment option for patients referred by their physician or those exhibiting COVID 19 symptoms who have been referred by the Salinas Valley Health hotline. This service is intended for people who are exhibiting COVID 19 symptoms and who have possibly been exposed to someone tested positive for COVID 19 or have recently traveled to a restricted country. Those meeting the COVID 19 threshold for testing are taken to the isolation tent for nose and throat swabs, which are then sent to the Monterey County Health Department for testing. Policy updated to rely on symptoms only.
  • 03-18-20 Salinas Valley Health announces new policies for patients and visitors. Everyone entering the hospital is screened by a nurse with verbal questions and visual assessment of symptoms. Patient visitation is limited to one person per day (must be 16 or older), with exceptions allowing visitors for OB patients and exceptions considered for critically ill and end of life patients. Policy updated on 3-23-20.
  • 03-16-20 Salinas Valley Health began operating an alternative care site near the Emergency Room. The alternative care site is being used in conjunction with a triage tent to screen people with respiratory ailments to help stop the spread of COVID 19 and prevent other patients from potentially being exposed to the virus.
  • 03-12-20 A triage tent outside the ER entrance is used to screen people with respiratory illnesses to determine if they meet criteria for COVID 19 testing. The screening is based on medical assessment of symptoms, severity of symptoms and factors such as travel and age. Policy updated to rely on symptoms only.
  • 02-10-20 Salinas Valley Health activates what’s known as HICS (pronounced HICKS) our Hospital Incident Command System. It sets into motion a predetermined organizational command chart with people acting in various capacities and outlining roles and responsibilities. It ensures operations in any disaster or emergency situation are effective and efficient.

Early Proactive Response

Local health care leaders began monitoring developments in Wuhan, China when the virus was first reported in late December 2019. The Monterey County Health Department and all four area hospitals (Salinas Valley Health, Montage Health, Natividad and Mee Memorial) began conversations and coordination in January 2020 about proactive and precautionary measures should the virus spread. Representatives from each of those organizations are in regular contact, collaborating best policies to protect the health of the community and keeping the public informed about the status of COVID 19 cases in Monterey County.

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