By Bill Miranda
Santa Clarita Mayor
The Southern California region is facing 0% ICU capacity and the highest number of coronavirus cases we have seen since the start of the pandemic. In the past month, hospitals in Los Angeles County — including Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital — have seen both COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalization figures drastically increase.
The week before Christmas, I had the opportunity to talk with our local healthcare heroes at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital to discuss how the pandemic is impacting hospital operations and what we can do as residents to lessen the strain on our healthcare facilities.
During this conversation, which was streamed on Facebook Live and can still be viewed in the “Videos” section of the City of Santa Clarita’s Facebook page, I wanted to convey how grateful we are for their unwavering commitment to serving our community.
The doctors, nurses, administrators and hospital staff have worked around the clock, facing unimaginable circumstances in this pandemic over the past 10 months.
While our healthcare heroes fight this battle every day, they rely on the community to do our part as well. The best way we can support our healthcare workers is to follow all safety protocols and continue to wear masks when we leave home or are around people who don’t live in our immediate household.
We have collectively done this for months now, and are starting to get a glimpse at the light at the end of the tunnel. As we saw on December 17, Henry Mayo received its first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine and began vaccinating frontline staff caring for patients in the COVID-19 unit. The arrival of the vaccine has provided a tremendous boost to morale because it signals the end of the pandemic is in sight and lives will be saved.
The supply of vaccine at the hospital is being distributed in accordance with California state guidelines and began with doctors, nurses and staff. Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital President Roger E. Seaver noted in our meeting that he is hopeful vaccine supply levels will increase soon so the hospital can begin to distribute it to the wider community.
Rest assured that the phased rollout of the vaccine will result in critical vaccination doses for the most vulnerable individuals in our community first. While we wait for widespread availability for all residents, we will continue to follow health orders to minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
Lastly, I want to send my thanks to the residents of Santa Clarita because you have continued to support all of our frontline healthcare workers since the early days of the pandemic. Thank you for making donations of critical supplies, sending food and keeping the staff in your prayers.
We can all agree that no matter what they need from us, we will always be here to support the amazing team at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and all healthcare facilities in Santa Clarita. I know that by continuing to listen to these heroes and following public health guidelines, we will finally put an end to this pandemic.
Mayor Bill Miranda is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected] The views expressed in his column are those of the City and do not necessarily reflect those of The Signal.