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The original item was published from 3/27/2020 2:01:59 PM to 4/13/2020 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: March 27, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Lodi at significant risk of expanding COVID-19 cases

Lodi at significant risk of expanding COVID-19 cases

City Council, health leaders ask community to boost efforts to fight virus

LODI -- Members of the Lodi City Council and leaders of Adventist Health Lodi Memorial and Lodi Unified School District are imploring the community to follow the stay-at-home orders issued by the Governor and San Joaquin County, saying Friday that Lodi is now at significant risk for an increase of COVID-19 activity.

Councilman and physician Alan Nakanishi said he has never been more concerned about the wellbeing of the Lodi community than he is now, pointing to the explosive viral outbreaks in New York City, Seattle and New Orleans as indications of what could happen here.

“I know the stay-at-home orders are an inconvenience and we want our lives to return to normal,” Nakanishi said. “But this virus can affect everyone, regardless of age. Please take this seriously.”

Daniel Wolcott, president of Adventist Health Lodi Memorial, said the hospital’s predictions and current caseload make it clear that the hospital will not have enough beds to serve the expected surge of patients if we do not bend the curve of this infection. He said everyone needs to adhere to recommendations for social distancing, hygiene and frequent surface cleaning. Those steps are imperative to help slow the disease’s spread, which will allow medical professional to serve those with other health needs.

“If you think this is just about the elderly, you are wrong,” Wolcott said. “It’s about anyone who needs hospital care during the surge. Our healthcare workers want to be able to deliver the best care to every patient with every need— whether it is labor and delivery, stroke care, auto injury or chest pain.  We don’t want to have to choose which types of patients get care. Please stay home!”

Wolcott added that hospital staff is now seeing new COVID-19 patients who have disregarded the warnings, including those who sought care directly after leaving their workplaces and local shopping centers.

The warnings are not for a specific group of people. The hospital is treating COVID-19-positive patients of all ages and demographics.

“There are plenty of stories about young people not taking this health threat seriously,” Wolcott said. “But, unfortunately, many members of the most at-risk populations, such as the elderly, are also disregarding and downplaying the warnings.”

Lodi Unified School District Superintendent Cathy Nichols-Washer said that although schools are scheduled to reopen on April 20, “this timeline could be extended based on the health crisis.”

San Joaquin County on Thursday tightened its stay-at-home order to ban gatherings of any size, in public or private areas, outside of immediate household members. It eliminated the April 7 expiration date in previous orders, making the new order in effect until rescinded, among other changes.

Lodi Mayor Doug Kuehne and Wolcott said the county needed to strengthen the order now in order to decrease the spread of COVID-19.

“Unfortunately, not all are taking this health threat seriously,” Kuehne said. “Not only are people needlessly risking their health, they’re risking the lives of their families, coworkers and friends, and it needs to stop.”

For more information about COVID-19, visit,,, or

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