SLO County struggling to procure ventilators

March 28, 2020

In the two weeks since San Luis Obispo County confirmed its first case of coronavirus, the number of new cases has been fairly consistent, averaging about five a day. As of Friday afternoon, 59 people in SLO County have tested positive for the virus.

One of the biggest obstacles, as county officials prepare for the worst case scenario, is a problem procuring ventilators. A few weeks ago, the county ordered 100 ventilators, but the federal government preempted the purchase.

For the sickest patients, ventilators offer the best chance of survival.

At this time, there are 60 ventilators in the county, with 34 available. One coronavirus patient is currently on a ventilator.

As of Friday afternoon, of the 59 San Luis Obispo County residents who have tested positive for the virus, seven are in the hospital — with one in intensive care, 11 people have recovered, and 41 of the infected individuals are recuperating at home.

Cases by city:

  • Paso Robles 17
  • Arroyo Grande 10
  • Atascadero 8
  • Morro Bay 6
  • San Luis Obispo 5
  • Other areas of the county 13

Three San Luis Obispo County individuals with the Coronavirus are under 18 years of age, 23 are between the ages of 18 to 49, 15 are between the ages of 50 to 64, and 18 are 65 and above.

Increases in the number of cases in California continues to grow at an rapid rate. As of Friday evening, there have been 4,905 positive cases and 102 deaths.

Currently, more than 104,256 U.S. residents have tested positive for the virus, and 1,704 have died.

In addition, the number of people infected with the virus worldwide continues to increase: 614,158 cases with more than 28,239 dead.


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Jarvis

They are lying to us. The disease is real. The response is not. Wake up.


mullyman

Preempted Ventilators Statement should be explained better. Has county reordered ventilators and what is status? NJ governor said price of ventilators was about $25,000 before virus but due to demand they are now $45,000. This seems like price gouging. Companies should have to submit the exact cost it takes to make the ventilators and not be able to add more than 15% over that cost. If they do they should be fined heavily.


mazin

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, says that Trump administration officials declined an offer of early congressional funding assistance that he and other senators made on FEBRUARY 5TH during a meeting to discuss the coronavirus.

The officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, said they “DIDN’T NEED EMERGENCY FUNDING, that they would be able to handle it within existing appropriations,” Murphy recalled in an interview with Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast.

“What an awful, horrible catastrophic mistake that was,” Murphy said.

On FEBRUARY 5TH, Murphy tweeted: “Just left the Administration briefing on Coronavirus. Bottom line: they aren’t taking this seriously enough. Notably, NO REQUEST FOR ANY EMERGENCY FUNDING, which is a big mistake. Local health systems need supplies, training, screening staff etc. And they need it now.”

Murphy told Yahoo News that the funding he and other congressional leaders wanted to allocate nearly two months ago would have paid for essential preventative measures, including hiring local screening and testing staff, researching a vaccine and treatments and the stockpiling of needed medical supplies.

“The consequences of that in Connecticut is that we’re going to test less people today than we tested yesterday,” Murphy told “Skullduggery” hosts Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman. “And that means that there are lots of people who are positive who are not going to know it, who are then going to be in contact with other people, who are going to spread the disease.”

“Had we appropriated money in February to start buying re-agent, we would be in a position to do many more tests today than we are,” Murphy said. ”It was just so clear to us that the administration didn’t think this was going to be a problem. We begged them in that meeting to request emergency funding from the Congress and they told us … that they had everything that they needed on hand, which was false.”

Murphy also criticized the White House’s decision not to take coronavirus test kits offered by the World Health Organization in JANUARY, which he said was an especially devastating mistake because that test was ready to go and easily replicable. Murphy said he believes that, as a result of the administration’s testing decisions, only about 20 percent to 30 percent of people who should be tested are able to do so.

“We didn’t appropriate the dollars necessary to build out the testing infrastructure,” Murphy said.

The administration’s laissez-faire approach has also contributed to the country’s soaring infection rate, Murphy said, because Trump had resisted calls to invoke the Defense Production Act. The Defense Production Act, or DPA, allows the president to compel private companies to manufacture products deemed necessary for national security.

Trump announced Friday that he was finally invoking the DPA to force General Motors to produce badly needed ventilators.


Moderator

Please don’t post entire articles or huge lists, an excerpt and link is customary not “wall o text’s”

Thanks


mullyman

Mazin : Did you read their entire funding proposal to see how much extra pork was in it like the last one the Dem’s put out. Lets just work together to end the virus so the people can get back to living a life.


mazin

Roy, in the US the lack of preparedness for this pandemic is due to actions of the Trump administration.

DECISIONS BY TRUMP THAT LEFT US UNPREPARED

1) “Exclusive: U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak” by Marisa Taylor, Reuters, March 22, 2020. https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-u-axed-cdc-expert-202454983.html

Further, the global health section of the Center for Disease Control was so drastically cut by Trump in 2018 that much of its staff was laid off and number of countries it was working in was reduced from 49 to 10.

2) Trump fired the government’s pandemic global health experts in May 2018 and did not replace them.

a) Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, the senior director of GLOBAL HEALTH SECURITY and biodefense at the National Security Council (NSC) was fired May 10, 2018 and his office eliminated. The Global Health Security unit was shut down inside the agency in May 2018. All by Trump.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/05/10/top-white-house-official-in-charge-of-pandemic-response-exits-abruptly/

b) Trump also fired Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adviser Tom Bossert on the NSC who coordinated the response to global pandemics, and Dr. Luciana Borio, the National Security Council director for medical and biodefense preparedness also left the NSC.

None of these positions were filled. Neither the NSC nor DHS epidemic teams have been replaced. The federal government was purged of global health experts when we needed them.

DECISIONS BY TRUMP THAT DELAYED ACTION

Top health officials first learned of the virus’s spread in China on JANUARY 3RD, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on March 20th. Throughout January and February, intelligence officials’ warnings became more and more urgent, according to the Washington Post and by early February, much of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA’s intelligence reports were dedicated to warnings about Covid-19.

All the while, Trump downplayed the virus publicly, telling the public the coronavirus “is very well under control in our country,” and suggesting warm weather would neutralize the threat the virus poses.

The administration did begin taking some limited action about a month after Azar says the administration first began receiving warnings, blocking non-citizens who had been to China in the last two weeks from entering the country on February 3rd. A move public experts have argued at best bought the US time to ramp up its testing capabilities, which it did not use, and at worst had no beneficial effects at all.

Trump finally assembled a task force to address the virus, putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the effort on February 26th, and declared a national emergency on March 13rd. And, just this week, nearly three months after first receiving warnings from his intelligence officials, the president’s public tone about the crisis shifted: “I’ve always known this is a real. This is a pandemic,” he admitted.


r0y

Sheltering in place is not to prevent the spread of the virus. It’s far too late for that (thank China). We will be infected, similarly as we are with the flu. In fact, it’s likely some of the flu cases this year were Corona Virus.


That said, sheltering in place is mainly to reduce the impact of those who will be severe cases or dying to all happen at once. Sheltering will (hopefully) stretch out the death and severe cases over a month or a year, thus relieving the medical systems in place. We’re not supposed to realize this, but it’s kind of hard to put that genie back in the bottle.


Sure wish China did not own our media and the WHO, or maybe we would have heeded Taiwan’s warnings last year. Oh well. Maybe some more “orange man bad” smoke will distract us again.


mazin

“Sure wish China did not own our media and the WHO” – PROVE THIS!

““orange man bad” smoke will distract us again.” READ THE ABOVE FACTS.

Respectfully, Roy, you think too ideologically. Sure wish you would get past your support of this incompetent President.


r0y

Do your own homework; don’t be so lazy.


Violent_Felon

A lot of people still are not taking the virus seriously and haven’t been for the past month. Too many haven’t been avoiding crowds; too many haven’t been wearing PPE; too many haven’t been keeping their distance; too many have been travelling. That all contributes to the sicknesses we’ve been seeing and will be seeing going forward.


Too many people have also been downplaying the virus, r0y.


Government shelter-in-place orders also give a sound reason for employers to be unable to terminate most employees for doing what they should be doing: staying home. Keep in mind, not everyone gets the flu. Not everyone needs to get the corona virus, either. If we take personal precautions seriously, there’s a fairly good chance that an individual will not get this virus, same as a cold or a flu.


Regarding the medical systems, if this continues to get worse as it most likely will, medical services are going to be hit from multiple angles. Aside from the obvious inundation with corona virus patients, the medical personnel will themselves start to get sick with greater frequency of exposure to the virus. Then you will start to see “normal” hospital patients start to die more frequently from non-COVID19 causes.


aye-caramba

Sixty ventilators for 300,000…. yes , we need more. And I wonder if this includes the infant ventilators ( which should not count). Some will malfunction, some are old, and more importantly, training techs to use them. How many more? Guessing seems where we are at….but when you are in a position that you consider rationing ammo in war, that is not good. BUT there should be many lessons from this to make us better in the long run.


sloweb

At last count, 283, 211.

More importantly, why do you assume that they will all need a ventilator?

Total infections at any one time might be 200-300. The article does not say what percent of infected are on ventilators or how long they need it, Based on these stats, 10% would be a lot. At those numbers, we are still good with current inventory. And this does not take into effect altering existing to multi-user, or get more as they are available.


Why do you assume that they are old and will malfunction? Do you know first hand that is true? Why do you think that the staff do not know how to use them and they will need training? Do you know that is the case?


Not trying to be argumentative, just want to know what facts your assumptions are based on.


info

The media continues to state the overall deficit of ventilators. I’m worried our massive urban neighbors to the north and south of us encroaching into our hospitals if or when it hits the fan.


MrYan

NIH Study encourages the use of CPAP and BI-PAP devices to treat pneumonia. Greatly reduces the need for later intubation. We should be acquiring these devices in addition to procuring respirators.


NIH study on H1N1 patients and the use of Probiotics. They too greatly reduce adverse affects of pneumonia and the need for intubation.


Bio-K plus 50 billion live bacteria in each bottle. Clinically proven to eat C-Diff drug resistant bacteria —Whole Foods. Much better than fish tank cleaners.


Snoid

The joke used to be if Harley Davidson made airplanes would you fly in one? Now I read Chevrolet and Ford have been directed to make ventilators. I think Id take my chances in the HD airplane ;)


sloweb

The article did not say how many covid-19 patients were using a ventilator. Apparently, from the facts, our county does have more than twice the number of ventilators that we actually need right now, with most people recovering at home.

Sure that could and will change – but so will the amount of available ventilators as production is ramped up. The Japanese call this “Just in Time” supply.


I suggest that this is better than not having the ventilators available for the hot spots that are developing in the nation right now. Getting what you want, instead of what you need, seems a bit like hoarding toilet paper.


Edit: I see that SLOco is expecting a peak and then drop in new cases in the first coupla weeks in April. It will be interesting to see if we ever actually run out of the 60 ventilators.


r0y

The cases will come in like waves. Most will be infected, and most will have minor, if any, symptoms. The problem is, some people (and I don’t even know if we’re certain) will be severe cases. Lungs filling up within minutes and suffocation death type stuff. It is easy to say the elderly with respiratory issues / blood pressure issues are highest risk, that’s kind of a generalized statement (they’re always at risk for many things).


We’re starting to see (very few, thank God) cases of the young and seemingly healthy people drop dead, and that’s what’s frightening. If it is a numbers/percentage game, and even 0.3% drop dead, but the R-value is R-2.0 to R-2.5, the spread will be FAST (as we’re seeing). It’s exponential, like our government spending and debt.


My concern is that China is continuing to lie, has a LOT of “world” organizations in its pocket, and even more media outlets (via advertising dollars, at the very least).


IronHub

Lordy, RoY … this is a virus without a country… it ain’t red, and it ain’t blue. But I’ll bet you are glad to have China to kick around again. The problem is your “president.”


mullyman

Your right except for the President statement. Did he get virus and spread it around the country so the Dems would get it and not be able to vote? I’m surprised the people who dislike our ” PRESIDENT ” haven’t tried to peddle this statement. You should of said this virus is without country and political affiliation.