As spring approaches, I’m hopeful it also brings a bit of respite to you and your teams. While Southern California has experienced a nearly 65 percent decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations since the peak in January, the numbers are still nearly double where they were for most of December. As with previous surges, we experienced a rapid ascent in both cases and hospitalizations and were reminded once again how quickly this virus spreads, and how drastically it impacts operations at our facilities. The Omicron surge arrived on the heels of multiple deadly surges when hospitals were already reeling from workforce shortages, supply chain challenges, financial losses, staff exhaustion and many other obstacles.
Your continued collaboration with local and state stakeholders has been vital in overcoming the many challenges that have arisen with each wave of hospitalizations. As the surge tapers, so too have twice-weekly calls in some of our counties; however, HASC continues to work closely with local public health departments, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers, county agencies, and others to mitigate ongoing and emerging issues. We remain vigilant — especially following the Super Bowl weekend — where tens of thousands gathered for celebrations big and small across the region. While it’s exciting to bring a victory to Southern California, we aim to be just as victorious at preventing the spread of the virus, which threatens to impede our progress.
A recent article in the Ventura County Star, Health Care Heroes Continue to Heal Ventura Communities as Challenges Endure, authored by hospital leaders in Ventura County, accurately expresses the collective gratitude that we share for our dedicated health care heroes. On behalf of the entire HASC team, I would also like to share appreciation for your ability to weather yet another strenuous period in this enduring pandemic. Your continued commitment has been instrumental in returning thousands of patients home to their loved ones.
Take care and stay safe.