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Local milestone celebrations canceled due to rising COVID-19 cases

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Posted at 5:57 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 22:32:51-04

Celebrating a milestone is important to many, but with COVID-19 cases on the rise, some local celebrations have been canceled.

75 years - that's what people at French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo were excited to celebrate but according to the hospital's CEO, they wanted to lead by example and decided to cancel the celebration out of an abundance of caution as COVID-19 cases are rising in the community.

"French Hospital has been providing outstanding care to this community for 75 years. That's a pretty incredible milestone," said French Hospital President and CEO Alan Iftiniuk.

A legacy luncheon was planned for Tuesday. They were going to have keynote speakers and take a look back at the hospital's many years of service but the event was canceled.

"Out of an abundance of caution we want to make sure that we don't do anything that would encourage the spread of this virus right, it's very infectious," Iftiniuk said.

They weren't the only ones to cancel a milestone celebration. In Santa Barbara County, the City of Guadalupe had an open streets festival planned to celebrate 75 years of local history.

With COVID-19 cases rising in the county, the Public Health Department advised city leaders to cancel the event, something many community members were not too happy about.

"I feel like their decision was a bit premature. I felt like there were maybe steps that we could've taken before canceling. I mean, it was an outdoor event," said resident Joanna Cabrel.

The event was expected to attract approximately 2,000 visitors.

"I think the community would've really enjoyed it, especially coming out of such a difficult year for a lot of people. It would've been a great way to bring the community together and have some wholesome fun," Cabrel said.

She adds she hopes the city at least postpones the event until a later date.

Exact details about whether the City of Guadalupe will reschedule the celebration is still unknown. As for French Hospital, according to the CEO, they are putting their efforts toward a celebration on social media. They say they will be posting memories and historic events for 75 days.

Here are a few facts about French Hospital over the past 75 years:

  • In 1946 a man named Edison French purchased the San Luis Sanitarium at 1160 Marsh Street where the original French Hospital first opened.
  • In 1972, Dr. French expanded the facility after he saw a bigger need which is where the French Hospital currently stands now at its current location on Johnson Avenue.
  • In 1985, Dr. French passed away but his memory and the contributions he made to local health care are still appreciated.

Now, French Hospital is expanding. They're calling it "Your New French Hospital." This will include:

  • A new four-story 85,000 square foot patient care tower with 56 new single-patient rooms
  • A 16-bed (all state-of-the-art private, family-oriented) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • An additional 10 Intensive Care Unit beds, bringing the total to 21 (all single rooms)
  • A new front entrance, lobby, and dining area, and much much more

To celebrate the milestone, the French Hospital Medical Center Foundation is taking to social media and posting multiple "Look Back' pictures filled with facts of years past.

You can find those posts on their Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages.