Twenty-six empty white folding chairs, representing those who have died from Covid-19 in Monterey County, served as the backdrop to the CEOs of all four local hospitals in a united message on Wednesday, July 29: wear a mask, wash your hands, stay six feet apart and stay home if you can.
"For months now my colleagues and I have been working behind the scenes collaborating, tackling this threat together," Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System CEO Pete Delgado said outside of the Monterey County Health Department.
"We're coming together to bring our message to every home in Monterey County: We need your help. We need the public's help to fight this nasty, sneaky virus," he said. "Without that kind of help we'll see more hospitalizations unnecessarily and more death."
A total of 4,288 residents have tested positive for the virus, as of Wednesday's report by the Health Department. The number of people in the hospital was at 43 as of Tuesday, according to the state, up from 39, with 15 of those patients in ICUs, the most Covid-19 patients reported in Monterey County ICUs at one time since the pandemic began.
Montage Health CEO Steven Packer said during the event that so far approximately 1 in 10 people with Covid-19 in the county require hospitalization, and of those hospitalized approximately 5 percent, or 1 in 20, have died. It translates to an overall mortality rate of 0.6 percent of all cases of Covid-19.
For Monterey County's four hospitals, the presentation marked the first effort of its kind to send a joint message to the public.