Today Solano County added an update of its own and links to new CDC and CDPH guidelines. Here they are:
Solano County – vaccines ready now for adolescents:
(5-12-21) CDC panel recommends Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents 12-15 years old Following CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendation to use the Pfizer vaccine for 12-15-year-old adolescents, Solano County will begin administering the vaccine to this age group starting May 13, 2021. For a list of upcoming vaccine clinics in Solano County, see the list of upcoming mass vaccine events. Get Vaccinated, Solano! We all have a role to play in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Wear a mask, wash your hands, keep distance from others outside your own household, and most importantly, get vaccinated to protect yourself and those around you from COVID-19.
California Department of Public Health – guidance on sporting events:
On May 13, Solano County reported 41 new COVID cases. Our hearts go out to those 41 and their families and friends. RECENTLY: We saw 1,288 new cases in April, an average of 43 per day. In the first 13 days of May, Solano reported 476 new cases, an average of 37 per day. Reports are that our red-tier Solano County will not be joining all other Bay Area counties in opening to less restrictive tiers anytime soon.
We learned of 1 new death today, a person over 65 years of age. Solano’s Active cases rose today from 236 to 296. Our percent positivity raterose today, our 10th day in a row over 7%, and remains high at 7.4%. We have not seen rates this high since Feb. 22.
Cases among children and youth have increased alarmingly
Percent of today’s new cases, age groups, May 13, 2021
New Cases 0-17 years
Compare TODAY (above) with percentages since LAST SUMMER (below). Note especially children and youth 0-17 years:
Percent of ALL CASES SINCE JUNE 2020, age groups as of May 13, 2021
Cases % 0-17
Hospitalizations – no new information today…
The Solano County COVID dashboardSummary tab only shows active hospitalizations for the current day (16 today – 3 more than yesterday). This number represents the total currently hospitalized after yesterday’s admissions and discharges. Little can be learned from this about the accumulated total of hospitalizations since the outbreak began.
But on the Demographics tab of the County dashboard, the County “occasionally” updates the accumulated total of hospitalizations by age group. These numbers had not been updated since early April, but were updated this week. Monday the County reported 3 new hospitalizations since early April, and added another 6 on Tuesday. The 2-day increase of 9 includes 1 person age 18-49, 1 person 50-64 and 7 persons age 65+. Looks like hospitalizations are dramatically DOWN. We’ll keep an eye on this for more “occasional” updates.
Solano County Total COVID Hospitalizations by AGE GROUPS as of May 13
>> The virus is still on the move here. Stay safe, get vaccinated, wear a mask and social distance! We will get through this together.
Cases by City on Thursday, May 13:
Beniciaadded 4 cases today, total of 983 cases since the outbreak began. Benicia averaged 2 cases/day in April.
Dixon added 2 cases today, total of 1,898 cases.
Fairfield added 17 new cases today, total of 8,960 cases.
Rio Vista remained steady today, total of 370 cases.
Suisun City added 4 new cases today, total of 2,262 cases.
Vacaville added 9 new cases today, total of 8,606 cases.
Vallejoadded only 5 new cases today, total of 9,771 cases.
Unincorporated areas remained steady today, total of 103 cases.
City Manager Upson reports on COVID in Benicia
Benicia City Manager Erik Upson reported on COVID in this week’s City of Benicia newsletter. Benicia, he wrote, is “second in the County for highest level of vaccination at 73.9% (just behind Rio Vista at 74.8%) and have the lowest incident rate at at .035 (Solano County average is double that at .07). There are many factors that go into those numbers, but I believe part of it is our City’s approach to making it our top priority and our community’s willingness to step forward and set the example. Great job Benicia! If you’re looking for a vaccine, click here to find upcoming clinics.” [More]
COMPARE: Screenshots from Solano County COVID Dashboard on Wednesday, May 12:
The data on this page is from today’s and the previous Solano County COVID-19 Dashboard. The Dashboard is full of much more information and updated weekdays around 4 or 5pm. On the County’s dashboard, you can hover a mouse or click on an item for more information. Note the tabs at top for Summary, Demographics and Vaccines. Click here to go to today’s Solano County Dashboard.
[BenIndy editor: reaching for “balanced coverage” and controversy, this Times-Herald article allows a right-wing conspiratorialist too much latitude in framing the discussion. Benicia Black Lives Matter members’ substantive Tuesday comments are covered only briefly in one paragraph (#10). The article then gives 5 paragraphs to the Sheriff’s defenders, including an outrageous and unsubstantiated attack on BBLM. The article then concludes with 4 paragraphs highlighting two BBLM members’ responses to the wild and crazy off-topic charges. The discussion at Solano BOS is a serious one, and our coverage should focus primarily if not exclusively on real issues. – R.S.]
Solano County Supervisors hear opposition, support for sheriff oversight
In the wake of revelations that members of the Solano County Sheriff’s Department has shown support for far-right ideologies, several county residents called in the supervisors meeting on Tuesday.
Some expressed their opposition and others voiced their support for agendizing a discussion about creating an oversight board to monitor the sheriff’s office.
In an internal email obtained by the Times-Herald, the Solano County Republican Central Committee organized its members to call into the meeting with talking points in support of the sheriff’s office. Members were told not to identify themselves as Republicans, but several callers expressed the points covered in the email.
According to an investigation by the nonprofit newsroom Open Vallejo, a deputy and two sergeants of the Solano County Sheriff’s Office promoted a far-right militia “for years” that is linked to terrorist plots and the Jan. 6 insurrection on the Capitol in Washington D.C.
After Open Vallejo’s story, which featured far-right Three Percenter symbols taken from public social media accounts and other online sources belonging to members of the sheriff’s office, Benicia Black Lives Matter wrote a letter to the supervisors asking for a “full investigation both at the county level and at the city level” to make sure that “policies and procedures — including those focused on recruitment and disciplinary actions — are in place to actively expel these extremists from the ranks of law enforcement.”
The letter was also sent to Solano County Sheriff Thomas Ferrara.
The Three Percenters have been dubbed a “radical anti-government group” by organizations such as the SPLC and the FBI. The FBI also claims that many members of these groups are in law enforcement, according to CBS News.
In February, BBLM asked the board of supervisors to condemn right-wing extremism and conduct a full investigation into Open Vallejo’s allegations. They also asked the board to consider creating an independent oversight committee, citing a new law that went into effect in September of last year.
Assembly Bill 1185 makes it easier for supervisors or voters to establish independent oversight boards to oversee activities within the sheriff’s department. Such boards would also have subpoena powers — something that many independent police oversight boards do not.
On Tuesday, several members of BBLM called in to support the creation of an oversight board, or the very least have a discussion about it. One member said that learning that there were people who supported Three Percenter ideology in the sheriff’s department “caused alarm for me” and said this was a public safety issue. Another caller said there is now fear and suspicion about the sheriff’s office and therefore civilian oversight is warranted.
Callers who opposed agendizing any discussion of oversight said it would create more government bureaucracy.
“Since when has government solved anything?” asked one caller.
Two callers referred to BBLM as “left wing anarchists and Marxists.” A man who identified himself as ex-law enforcement, said that “out-of-town forces are trying to bring their dysfunction to Solano County and to disrupt the peace that we’ve had here.”
Another caller named Steve said that the mass media makes it “almost impossible” to get all the facts.
“We have seen cops everywhere get charged with violations of protocol… Some cops are incompetent and get removed. Most of the time the accusations are inaccurate,” he said.
According to Bay City News and confirmed by the Times-Herald, Benicia Black Lives Matter received a response from Sheriff Ferrara. In the letter, Ferrara said he was “sickened” as he watched the Jan. 6 attack and that he can confirm that none of his employees were present on that day.
However, the sheriff’s letter did admit that the far-right images posted on social media by his officers were “disappointing” but were “not in themselves a crime…or in violation of (then current) policy.”
Further, Sheriff Ferrara said he had arranged for extremist ideology training for all of his staff, including himself.
Ferrara also told BBLM that he consulted with the FBI, which he claims, “confirmed none of my employees are members of any extremist organizations.”
When Open Vallejo attempted to verify this, the FBI instead called Ferrara’s statement into question. In a statement, spokesperson Gina Swankie told the newsroom that “a group which may espouse domestic extremist ideology is not illegal in and of itself, no matter how offensive their views may be, and membership in any group is neither tracked nor is sufficient basis for an FBI investigation.”
Former special agent for the FBI in San Francisco John Bennett told Open Vallejo that it is possible that the FBI would inform the head of an agency that there was an inquiry into their organization, and that “a disciplined and honorable leader of an agency would not make a public statement contrary to what they know is the truth about the status of an FBI inquiry.” He also added that “if the Bureau comes out later with contrary statements, that department and its leadership will lose credibility.”
Supervisor Monica Brown made a motion at a previous meeting to agendize discussion of oversight of the sheriff’s department but no one seconded it. Brown could not be reached for comment at press time.
BBLM members dispute the idea that they are “Marxists” or far left radicals. One caller from the organization said that she is “not a Marxist, I am a mother of two” and said she called in because of her children.
“I’m confused why we are not having a conversation (about this),” she said, adding that they are just asking for a discussion to be raised about oversight.
BBLM member Brandon Greene, a civil rights attorney, told the Times-Herald that he too is concerned about public safety and security for residents and he is not an “out-of-town Marxist.”
Check out the growing number of letters sent in to our local print newspaper, the Benicia Herald: strong calls for racial justice, offers of praise where deserved, decrying of local incidents of racism, and opposition to racial bias and expressions of white supremacy.
Below are today’s listing of collected letters. Check back regularly for new letters at the BenIndy Anti-Racism Letters page.
ANTI-RACISM LETTERS IN THE BENICIA HERALD
Benicia is definitely NOT the happy little totally progressive, inclusive community many of us have long thought it was. Racism is real in Benicia. See the following letters which appeared in the print edition of the Benicia Herald. (See also Benicia Black Lives Matter: Our Voices, also published in the Benicia Herald.)
Benicia Herald letters on racism
Link to letter
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Silence is Complicity – America not a place of liberty & justice for all, Sheriff and Solano supervisors complicit.
Two Peas in a Pod – Raley’s incident, Sheriff investigation 2 peas in a pod. Be an ally, don’t blame BLM or City hiring of Equity Mgr.
Contact the Benicia Herald – write your own letter!
To add your voice, write to Benicia Herald editor Galen Kusic at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that the Benicia Herald’s online edition is not currently being maintained. To subscribe to the print edition, email email@example.com or phone 707-745-6838. Main phone line is 707-745-0733; fax is 707-745-8583. Mail or stop by in person at 820 First St., Benicia, 94510. (Not sure of days and hours.)