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COVID-19 Patient Joins Salinas Valley Health in Safety Message

COVID-19 Patient Joins Salinas Valley Health in Safety Message

Media Contact: Karina Rusk

A young COVID-19 patient and the President/CEO of Salinas Valley Health have the same message for the community as Monterey County reopens and enters into a long holiday weekend. Be Smart. Be Safe. The numbers in Monterey County are climbing and we need to stop the spread of the virus.

24-year old Dakota Sandoval of Salinas is sharing his experience as a COVID-19 survivor in hopes of saving other people from the life-threatening coronavirus. Sandoval is one of 180,000 people in California who have tested positive for COVID-19 and one of 1416 confirmed cases in Monterey County.

“People think because they’re young, they won’t get sick,” said Dakota Sandoval, who tested positive in March for COVID-19. “I’m urging everyone to wear a mask and practice social distancing when they go out. I’m young and I got it. My grandfather and nephew had to move out of the house so I wouldn’t put them at risk.”

Sandoval spent five days at Salinas Valley Health Medical Center in the COVID-19 unit after contracting the disease working as a transportation provider in Utah. In all, 118 people have been hospitalized with the virus in Monterey County, 81 of those patients have received care at Salinas Valley Health Medical Center.

“I was so sick driving home from Utah, I nearly passed out,” says Sandoval. “I had to stop at an emergency room in Tehachapi. I’m grateful I was eventually treated at Salinas Valley Health Medical Center. The nurses are amazing. I just don’t want anyone to go through what I did.”

Sandoval is sharing his experience as Pete Delgado, President/CEO of Salinas Valley Health is expressing concern about the latest numbers and stressing the simple actions every person can take to protect themselves and others during the pandemic.

“I’m concerned many people are not following the guidelines to stop this virus from spreading,” says Salinas Valley Health President/CEO Pete Delgado. “We need to be vigilant in practicing social distancing, covering our faces and washing our hands. This is not a time to become complacent.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a mandatory statewide masking order this week. The order comes as the Golden State has recorded more than 190,000 confirmed cases and has more than 5,300 COVID-19 deaths statewide.

“I cannot stress this enough,” says Delgado. “Do let not let your guard down. We can beat this. Be smart. Be safe. Be well.”

Salinas Valley Health has had 470 positive patients and 81 of those have had to be hospitalized in the medical center's special COVID Unit. More than 90 nurses at Salinas Valley Health are rotating shifts and working in the unit to care for COVID-19 patients. As of Thursday morning, Salinas Valley Health has 8 patients being cared for on the unit. The Healthcare System activated its Hospital Incident Command System in early February as the threat of COVID-19 emerged.

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