No Mask. No Entry. COVID-19 Update: Sierra View Medical Center on Masking, Safety Tips Related to Omicron and Vaccination

Porterville, CA – January 14, 2021

The Omicron variant has arrived in Tulare County with force and Sierra View Medical Center has crucial information to share to help ensure the safety of our community members. Currently, the majority of new COVID-19 cases in Tulare County are attributed to the Omicron variant.

Hospital at Capacity

As of Friday, January 14, 2022, Sierra View Medical Center has all ICU beds in use and a total of 21 hospitalized COVID-19 positive patients. “Seeing the surge of the Omicron and Delta variants hitting our hospital and health care systems, we are at capacity. Our ICU is beyond capacity and this is the time that we really need people to focus on getting their booster if they haven’t already done so to avoid hospitalization,” says Sierra View Medical Center Chief Nursing Officer Dr. Jeffery Hudson-Covolo, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE. More information about the Omicron variant is available from the California Department of Public Health:

No Mask. No Entry.

To help limit the transmission of COVID-19, Sierra View reminds community members that all patients, visitors and staff arriving at any hospital facility or outpatient location are required to be wearing a mask at all times. Sierra View aligns with guidance from the California Department of Public Health and the recent guidance published on January 5, 2022 from CDPH states, “…California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status…” This requirement will be updated as CDPH continues to assess conditions on an ongoing basis.” If patients do not have a mask, one will be provided upon arrival.

Mask Rating Info

The CDPH also has issued guidance regarding the best masks to use. “An effective mask has both good fit and good filtration. A well fitted mask has no gaps between the face and mask, such as above the nose or at the sides,” the department says. The CDPH has ranked masks by level of effectiveness with fabric masks (with three or more layers) being the least effective; surgical masks rated as effective; KF94, KN95, Double Mask, and Fitted Surgical Masks as More Effective; and N95 masks as Most Effective. Learn more by visiting

Infographic provided by California Department of Public Health

Covid-19 Safety Tips

Sierra View continues to offer COVID-19 vaccines and boosters weekly at the SVMC-Imperial Ambulance Community Vaccination Clinic located at 385 Pearson Dr., Porterville, CA 93527. “Because the transmission of COVID-19 is so widespread and spread is happening with such a voracious speed, we need people to have boosters and wear masks,” says Dr. Hudson-Covolo. With a booster level less than 30%, Tulare County is behind the state average for California which is currently at a little under 50%. For the latest statewide vaccination data from CDPH, visit

Key safety messaging from Sierra View’s Chief Nursing Officer includes:

  1. Boosters: Receive your COVID-19 Booster if you have not already done so. If you are interested in a booster or first/second dose of the vaccine, please consider receiving your vaccine at the SVMC-Imperial Ambulance Community Vaccination Clinic. Learn more at Information is available in Spanish at
  2. Testing: Test as needed. Sierra View Medical Center continues offering COVID-19 testing by referral. Porterville College is currently offering public COVID-19 testing at 100 E. College Ave., Mondays – Thursdays, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Appointments are available by visiting
  3. Limit Large Gatherings: It is currently prudent to limit gathering in large groups.
  4. Hand Hygiene: As always, please practice handwashing and use hand sanitizer as needed.

“This is not a time to have big parties,” says Dr. Hudson-Covolo. “The next three to four weeks are really critical.” Sierra View needs the help of community members to safeguard each other’s safety by abiding by abiding by masking guidelines and considering receiving the vaccine.

Upcoming Sierra View Medical Center Town Hall

To help community members keep up to date with the latest about the pandemic, the state of the hospital and vaccines, Sierra View Medical Center is hosting a Town Hall on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, at 2 p.m. Community members are welcome to send questions by emailing Facebook event info is available at