Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

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Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (file photo)
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Source: Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital (SBCH)

At SBCH, 23 hospitalized patients have confirmed COVID. Of these, 1 is in critical care. Compared to two weeks ago (December 20, 2021), the number of hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID was 8.

Visitor Policy Update

With the new surge of COVID cases now rapidly spreading throughout our community, it is necessary to pause visitation at Cottage Health to best protect patients and staff. As of Wednesday, January 5, 2022, no visitors will be allowed for most patients in the hospitals. This is a difficult decision but it is critical that our hospitals maintain capacity for ongoing care. We appreciate the community’s efforts to maintain safe practices and look forward to when we can again invite visitors back into the hospitals as safely as possible.

The community can help by using all tools available to prevent the spread of COVID: getting a vaccination and a booster when eligible, testing, isolating if positive or symptomatic, masking and distancing.

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SoCalMommy Jan 05, 2022 02:45 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

It is important to pay attention to the wording: hospitalized patients *with* Covid does not necessarily mean they were admitted *because* of COVID. Any of those patients could be in the hospital for a broken leg, routine surgery, etc.. Fauci himself even said this about how pediatric cases are being counted as COVID hospitalizations when it merely means that they happened to test positive while under care.

a-1641424589 Jan 05, 2022 03:16 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

"Roughly two-thirds of patients who have tested positive at hospitals run by the L.A. County Department of Health Services were admitted for something other than the coronavirus, according to Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly." https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-01-04/covid-hospitalizations-top-summer-surge-in-l-a

bosco Jan 05, 2022 03:48 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

SOCAL: You are correct. Even the hospitalization metric is being skewed. I believe it's been said the best metric to track is ICU admits and not just hospitalizations. Looking at the ICU admits there very little change over the last 6-9 months. We are in a vastly different situation than one year ago. We keep shooting ourselves in the foot with a disease that is now completely manageable. It's not just me saying this, I am hearing this directly from healthcare workers working with COVID patients. It now really feels like the policy makers are completely out of touch with the situation on the ground where it matters.

sacjon Jan 05, 2022 04:42 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

SOCALMOMMY - actually, for the purpose of this article, it is completely irrelevant whether they were admitted due to COVID or caught it while hospitalized for something else. This article is announcing a change in visitation policy to hopefully reduce infection. It's highly likely that visitors brought it at least some of the cases. That's the point.

Eggs Ackley Jan 06, 2022 07:16 AM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

I am dismayed by the unreasonable and illogical positions expressed by Covid deniers. Cottage has to add a wing for Covid patients, staff is dramatically reduced impacting non-critical care, staff heroically goes to work with full knowledge that they will likely come down with covid.
The culture of lying in the face of irrefutable facts is disheartening; as is the underlying mental health crisis spurred by the former administration and its minions. Why have you decided to join to legions of the devil’s disciples?

Eggs Ackley Jan 06, 2022 07:23 AM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

True! Some existing patients only get visits during holidays.
It’s a shame, SBSAND, that you have such a callous disregard for the health of your community. What made you go so astray from basic human empathy and compassion, and how can you get back to a place where you love your neighbor?

LwoodFog Jan 06, 2022 11:21 AM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Exactly. There's no nefarious reasons behind the visitor policy. It's pretty simple folks. Hospitals are getting inundated with everything from covid to strep to flu etc., losing staff to sickness, and want to limit potential exposure and to free space and time to care for the critically ill. Oh Heavens me! You cant visit Bob with a nose bleed, or Bill with constipation? Guess what? Bob and Bill will survive without visitors.

LwoodFog Jan 06, 2022 11:36 AM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

@sbsand. I'm not sure if you're question comment is directed towards me, but my comment was in response to Chip and Bosco. I wasn't aware of any comment you made or wasn't replying to your comment. Apologies if it seemed that way. The way the comments/replies are layed out is strange.

SBSand Jan 06, 2022 03:11 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

I was referring to what Eggs specifically said that was directed at me, "It’s a shame, SBSAND, that you have such a callous disregard for the health of your community. What made you go so astray from basic human empathy and compassion, and how can you get back to a place where you love your neighbor?"

Eggs Ackley Jan 08, 2022 10:24 AM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Apologies SBSAND. Heres the context: SOCALMOMMY made a statement with which you agreed regarding the timing of Covid infection among the hospitalized, and indicated that it was holiday visit related. Seems a facetious argument given the times. Visitation had already been limited by the second week of December, not sure exactly when. So it appeared to me you were blaming the hospital for infecting people after they were admitted based on an unverified assumption. It dovetails in to the theory that Covid cases are being over-counted and that COD is being wrongfully attributed to Covid. That was the frame of reference from which I made my comment.

MarcelK Jan 08, 2022 11:05 AM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Indeed the comment layout is nuts and they can't be bothered to fix it. (I actually offered my programming services for free to the management and they blew me off). Basically: read the top level replies to the article from top to bottom, but read all the comments below the top level comments bottom to top ... responses to comments are *above* the comment they're a reply to, except for responses to the top level comment.

bosco Jan 05, 2022 03:35 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Truly heartbreaking decision for families of critical patients. How many loved ones are going to be dying alone because of this? Hopefully they are reasonable and allowed to make exceptions.

I wonder if any actual Nurses/Doctors were consulted on this. I suspect this came from the administration that have no direct patient care.

Chip of SB Jan 05, 2022 04:26 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Not only that, I think the lack of visitors and increasingly austere and impersonal hospital environment is bad for patient care and detrimental to patient outcomes. Having visitors, walking the hallways, and socializing with others results in more positive outcomes for patients.

LwoodFog Jan 06, 2022 11:00 AM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Dude..just...man. Hard to know where to start. Bosco, if a loved one is dying exceptions will be made. Chip, It sounds like you want the hospital/ER to to be more akin to a club med experience or a sandals resort? Hate to break it to you but the Hospital is not a Hotel.

Take it from someone who works in a local ER. I for one, along w/ the majority of staff, are glad hospitals are limiting visitors again. This will no doubt protect patients, visitors and staff like me. Not just from covid, but from everything else floating around, and will simply allow more space for staff and keep them less busy and ease stress.

Like someone already mentioned, there are now, and will always be exceptions like minors, critical situations, end of life etc. As I'm typing this, we are getting swamped with an increasing amount of covid positive patients along with everything else, from flu, strep, and typical colds etc. Like a typical winter flu and cold season, but with covid now. That is reality.

Unfortunately (and I understand being concerned/worried), a large amount of the public is using emergency rooms/urgent cares like testing facilities. Yes you have a cough and the sniffles, but do you have an EMERGENCY? No? Then go home, hydrate, sleep and take care of yourself like you would if you weren't worried about covid, and you had a cold/flu. You're having trouble breathing? You have a really high temp? Then by all means go to urgent care or an ER. No, you don't have an emergency or urgent matter but you want to check into the ER anyway? Basically just to get tested? Now you've taken a room/space, labs etc. and time for something that is essentially not an emergency. Now Chip.... you think its a good idea to add visitors to that mix to "walk the halls and socialize with others??? Ridiculous!

To read your comment stated like its fact that "Having visitors, walking the hallways, and socializing with others results in more positive outcomes for patients", is to put it mildly, absolutely asinine. In what Hospitals are visitors and patients walking about like it's a social club? That has never been allowed. Ever. And never will be. Walking the hallways and socializing with others in a hospital during a pandemic?! Do you hear yourself? You know what is "detrimental"? Stressed out, and stretched thin staff, and no space for truly sick or injured patients. We are getting sick, and dropping like flies. We need space for critically sick and injured patients, trauma patients, and patients who need immediate care. We don't need visitors walking the hallways socializing. That is literally THE last thing we need during this uptick. Thus this policy going into affect.

"Having visitors, walking the hallways, and socializing with others results in more positive ....***Covid results for patients, potentially exposes visitors and staff and creates a more hectic and stressful hospital environment during a global pandemic***." There. Fixed it for ya.

ginger1 Jan 05, 2022 05:00 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

1. The Cottage press release is a little more strongly worded than the kinder more compassionate message on their website. Clearly not written by the same person. I think it is perfectly reasonable to limit visitors. Make exceptions as might be appropriate. Requiring visitors to be vaccinated should be a minimum requirement, and otherwise, if it's a critical need, appropriate PPE. N95 masks, for example. You all know that cloth masks are no longer considered adequate, right? Or is that not an "official" thing, yet?

I'd like to know if they have *any* staff not fully vaccinated. If there is even one, then what difference does it make as far as potential infection if that "one" is a visitor or employee?

2. A family member needed to be briefly hospitalized for something not related to covid. They tested positive for covid while there. Now listed as "hospitalized for [name of condition][treatment] with covid." PS: There's a high likelihood they got it there.

3. Latest isolation and quarantine guidance. Does anyone have a link to the English translation? Or perhaps a pretty colored flow-chart refrigerator magnet? I sure hope this is the last "wave". Could be.

SBLetsGetAlong Jan 05, 2022 09:32 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

in the hospital “with Covid”. Not because of Covid.

Fauci admitted to these misleading practices recently on tv.
NYC just admitted to overstating the numbers. Last Summer Alameda county also admitted to overestimating by 25%.
Over a year ago the Cook County, IL Pub Health Director stated they were overstating Covid deaths.

Cottage Hospital, how many people are in the hospital because Covid put them there?
Seriously, enough of the games & start being honest.

a-1641460327 Jan 06, 2022 01:12 AM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

I think we probably are undercounting cases. I'm sure there are those who are vaccinated and don't get tested.
Also, the home tests give huge numbers of false negatives. They're meant to be used twice in a 36 hour period.

Excerpts from free article:
"On days 0 and 1 following a positive PCR test, all of the antigen tests used produced false-negative results, even though in 28 of the 30 cases, levels of virus detected by the PCR test were high enough to infect other people.
...
The results means that rapid tests — both Abbott BinaxNOW and Quidel QuickVue — aren’t catching people during their first couple days of infection.
We know that PCR tests are more sensitive than antigen tests — this is not new information,” Abbott Laboratories said in a statement. “We also know that PCR tests are so sensitive that they do not indicate infectiousness and thus are not a practical tool for keeping the workforce and economy moving.”

Despite its small size, the results in the study are remarkably consistent. Not a single rapid antigen test detected the virus until nearly two days after the initial positive PCR result. Additionally, the cases of infection from people who had received false negative results could raise alarm bells."
...
"However, many emphasize, this does not mean that rapid antigen tests are not useful. The tests also detected the virus in every case – it just took longer than with PCR. So while the tests may not work as an early warning, a positive test result at home does likely mean that the person taking the test has Covid-19."
https://www.statnews.com/2022/01/05/study-raises-doubts-about-rapid-covid-tests-reliability-in-early-days-after-infection/

Yep, looks like home tests won't prevent transmission.

PitMix Jan 06, 2022 03:09 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Deaths are way higher than official "counts".
"The raw death count gives us a sense of scale: for example, the US suffered roughly 470,000 excess deaths in 2020, compared to 352,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths during that year."

So we are well over a million extra deaths just due to covid by now. At least 1 million families grieving.

MarcelK Jan 08, 2022 10:47 AM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

"Actually that was meant to be "we are not undercounting cases"."

ACTUALLY, no "current data analysis" shows any such thing.

"there's no doubt at all, with our pitiful testing measures, that we are overcounting cases."

Maybe look up the words "under" and "over" in the dictionary.

Luvaduck Jan 06, 2022 09:26 AM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

I agree that being vaccinated fully and tested often should be part of working in any capacity at a medical facility. A person can choose to go to a restaurant or any shared inside venue; they cannot choose to avoid shared inside spaces to be treated for illness, serious accidents and such. They would risk their heath or life not to be treated. Not too long ago, being wounded or "catching" something was fatal, even if you were a President's son such as Todd Lincoln.

SBSand Jan 07, 2022 05:55 AM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

That IS a requirement and in fact, all staff need to have their booster by Feb 1st and if they don't have it by today they are subjected to twice a week covid testing and then put on an unpaid leave of absence if not boostered by Feb 1st. Vaccination is a requirement for working at Cottage.

dukemunson Jan 06, 2022 01:12 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

It's easier for hospitals to keep the riff-raff out with a blanket policy and then make exceptions. It's a bummer but it is what it is. At least it sounds better than 2020. I had a family member in the hospital with a life threatening medical condition (non covid) and for 10 days they wouldn't let any family member in.

Andrea Smith Jan 06, 2022 03:27 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

EGGS ACKLEY's comments amuse me. They are a good example of not loving one's neighbor, judging and doing/saying all the things he/she claims to condemn in others. Except none of us is in a place to condemn or judge anyone. Love thy neighbor has sadly gone out the window, including in those who profess to love their neighbor, yet they don't love all of them only those they agree with or like.

sacjon Jan 06, 2022 04:31 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

SBSAND - I don't know, looks like Andrea is one of those complaining that people are being "mean" to those who "don't agree" about getting vaxxed and helping to protect their community. Saying none "none of us is in a place to condemn or judge anyone" when it comes to this is wrong. We SHOULD judge those who refuse to care about their family and their neighbors. That might or might not be you, but I think Andrea's comment was more in general. Apologies in advance if I misinterpreted you.

SBSand Jan 07, 2022 05:53 AM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

No worries! I'm actually VERY pro-vax and mask up and have dedicated a lot of the past 2 years in helping the community to stay safe from covid by heavily involved with several of the vaccination clinics. I care quite a bit and I also am supportive of Cottage making the decision to be protective and cautious. They are also short-staffed, like other hospitals across the country, due to staff getting sick and being out. All of us that are outside of the medical profession and think that WE have covid fatigue should stop a moment and think about what the dedicated medical, and hospital staff in general, are experiencing related to covid. It's their life 24/7 and they still go in and do it. They need community support.

Eggs doesn't know anything about me or what I do, if they did they would be ashamed of their comments. I won't let it get to me, it's the new norm for people to act like they do.

a-1641523997 Jan 06, 2022 06:53 PM
Cottage Hospital Updates Visitor Policy Amidst Rising COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Follow-up to the utility and timing of home Covid tests:

"No one is arguing that antigen tests should not be used, nor that it is reasonable to expect they will detect every case. They are essential at a moment when getting a PCR often involves waiting an hour for a test and then several days for results. They will be important for identifying patients who should receive new drugs, such as Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s molnupiravir, that can keep patients out of the hospital if they are given soon after infection. But experts also worry that if they prove unreliable it could affect their usefulness in some situations, such as the common practice of using them before gatherings as an extra barrier against superspreader events or as protection in workplaces.

Growing evidence indicates Omicron collects in the throat, not in the nose, which could be why the nasal swabs used in rapid testing kits often aren’t detecting the variant.

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized antigen tests so long as they are 80% sensitive — meaning they return a false negative 20% or less of the time — and they are at least 98% specific, meaning that false positives are rare. That means that it is expected that false negatives will happen, and the test’s packaging recommends using two tests 24 to 36 hours apart, and getting a PCR test if there is any doubt."
https://www.statnews.com/2022/01/06/scientists-try-to-pinpoint-why-rapid-covid-tests-are-missing-cases/

Please read the article if you want to comment. ;-)

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