Solano County Public Health Officer answers questions about increasing number of youth with COVID-19

By Roger Straw, June 2, 2020
Are young people the main carriers for Covid-19?  –  NJ MMA News, photo: Getty Images

On May 27, I asked Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson to ask Solano Public Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas a number of questions about recent increases in the number of our youth who are showing up positive for COVID-19.  The Mayor passed my questions on to Dr. Matyas that day, and on May 31, he replied with answers to all eight questions – see below.


Solano County is reporting an upward trend in confirmed cases among young persons 18 and under, adding (as of today) 26 more positive cases over the last 20 days, having reported only 6 over the 5 weeks prior. (Latest update…)


  1. How serious are these youth cases?   ​
    • The youth cases are mostly asymptomatic, although a few have been mildly symptomatic.
  2. How old – teens or young children?
    • While we have had a few young children, most of the youth are older teenagers.
  3. Any of them hospitalized?
    • None have been hospitalized to date.
  4. Are any of them showing symptoms of the “pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome likely linked to COVID”?  (See Nearly 200 Cases of Severe Child COVID Syndrome…in NY, NJ)
    • ​None so far.
  5. Surely the increase can be partially explained away as a result of more testing, but that doesn’t mean the numbers are any less serious.  Right?
    • The increased numbers are apparently the result of increased testing of asymptomatic household contacts of cases and testing of asymptomatic persons at the recently opened Optum sites in Vallejo and Vacaville; we are likely uncovering a phenomenon that has been present all along.  As to seriousness, the percentage of positive youths we are seeing seems to match statewide and national numbers.  These individuals, while not themselves experiencing serious illness, are nonetheless able to spread the virus to others.
  6. Is the County conducting contact tracing for these youth?
    • Yes, just as for all positive cases.
  7. Does the County have sufficient staffing for contact tracing?
    • So far, yes.
  8. What can the County and cities do to intensify communication with our young people and parents?
    • Presumably, utilizing social media and school-based communication systems.


I sincerely hope that parents and youth reading this will take note, and that the County and its cities and school districts will intensify communication about the serious reality of COVID-19 transmission among youth, and from youth to their elders.

See also: “Are young people the main carriers for Covid-19?”   NJ MMA News

Solano County COVID-19 update: 29 new cases over the weekend, 5 new youth test positive

Monday, June 1:  29 new positive cases, no new deaths. Total now 546 cases, 22 deaths.

Source: Solano County Coronavirus Information & Resources

Solano County Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Updates and Resources.  Check out basic information in this screenshot.  IMPORTANT: The County’s interactive page has more.  On the County website, you can hover your mouse over the charts at right for detailed information.
Previous report, Friday, May 29


  • Solano County reported 29 new positive cases over the weekend and today, total of 546.
  • No new deaths today, total of 22.
  • Active cases are down, and hospitalizations are stable, good signs, but clearly not “out of the woods.”
  • The County reported 26 new cases among our youth in the last 20 days, having reported only 6 over the 5 weeks prior.  (See table below).


  • 6 new cases were reported LATE on Friday 5/29
  • 18 new cases were reported on Saturday 5/30
  • 2 new cases were reported on Sunday 5/31
  • 3 new cases were reported today, Monday 6/1


  • 5 new cases were reported today among young persons under 19 years of age, including one who was hospitalized, total of 32 cases, increasing over the last two weeks to just under 6% of the 546 total confirmed cases(See table below.)
  • 19 of today’s new cases were persons 19-64 years of age, total of 384 cases, 70% of the 546 total.   No new deaths in this age group today, total of 5.  Note that 49 of the 384 cases in this age group have been hospitalized at one time, 13% of total cases in the age group(It is unclear whether the 5 deaths were ever hospitalized.)
  • 6 of today’s new cases were persons 65 or older, total of 130 cases, 24% of the 546 total.  No new deaths, total of 17.  Note that 34 of the 130 cases in this age group (26%) were hospitalized at one time, double the percentage in the mid-age group(It is unclear whether the 17 deaths in this age group were ever hospitalized.)
  • CORRECTION: The County reported 29 new cases overall today, but  I am showing 30 new cases assigned to an age group here.  This is likely due to my under-count last Friday, when, it seems I should have reported an additional youth who had been hospitalized.
Recent surge in positive cases among youth 18 and under
Date New cases Total
Monday, June 1, 2020 5 32
Friday, May 29, 2020 0 27
Thursday, May 28, 2020 3 27
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 0 24
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 (3-day holiday weekend) 7 24
Friday, May 22, 2020 0 17
Thursday, May 21, 2020 3 17
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 0 14
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 0 14
Monday, May 18, 2020 1 14
Friday, May 15, 2020 2 13
Thursday, May 14, 2020 3 11
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 1 8
Tuesday, May 12, 2020 1 7
Monday, May 11, 2020 0 6
Friday, May 8, 2020 0 6
Thursday, May 7, 2020 0 6
Wednesday, May 6, 2020 0 6
Tuesday, May 5, 2020 0 6
Monday, May 4, 2020 0 6


  • Vallejo added 14 of today’s new cases, total of  307.
  • Fairfield added 8 of today’s new cases, total of 109.
  • Vacaville added 2 of today’s new cases, total of 56.
  • Suisun City added 5 of today’s new cases, total of 30.
  • Benicia remained at 23 cases.
  • Dixon remained at 11 cases.
  • Rio Vista and “Unincorporated” are still not assigned numerical data: today both remain at <10 (less than 10).  The total numbers for other cities add up to 536, leaving 10 cases somewhere among the 2 locations in this “<10” category (same as last reported).Residents and city officials have pressured County officials for city case counts.  Today’s data is welcome, but still incomplete.

HOSPITALIZATIONS: 84 of Solano’s 546 cases resulted in hospitalizations since the outbreak started, same as previously reported.  This is an important stat to watch.  On May 1 there were 51 hospitalizations, and the daily increase was relatively steady, adding 2 or less each day until a week ago.  On May 22, the County reported 4 new hospitalizations and on May 29, an additional 9 new hospitalizations.  Good news, stable today.  Stay tuned!

ACTIVE CASES:  62 of the 546 cases are currently active – 7 fewer than yesterday, and trending somewhat lower.  Note that the county does not report WHERE the active cases are.  Below you will see that only 18 are currently hospitalized, which leaves 44 of these 62 active cases out in our communities somewhere, and hopefully quarantined.

HOSPITAL IMPACT: The County shows 18 of the 84 hospitalized cases are CURRENTLY hospitalized, 1 fewer than yesterday.  The County’s count of ICU beds available and ventilator supply remains at “GOOD” at 31-100%. (No information is given on our supply of test kits, PPE and staff.)

TESTING: The County reports that 11,866 residents have been tested as of today, an increase of 770 residents tested over the weekend and today.  We still have a long way to go: only 2.6% of Solano County’s 447,643 residents (2019) have been tested.  NOTE: State run testing sites in Vallejo and Vacaville are open to anyone.

Solano’s steady upward curve – as of June 1

This chart shows the infection’s steady upward trajectory in Solano County.  Our “curve” continues to creep up.  Our nursing homes, long-term care facilities and jails bear watching!

Still incredibly important – everyone stay home if you don’t need to go out, wear masks when you do go out (especially in enclosed spaces), wash hands, and be safe!

Another video of protesters and Benicia Police: “Take a knee with us!”

Hugs and handshakes after a shared moment of silence…

ABC7 News San Francisco, June 1, 2020

Benicia police officers took a knee as the crowd held a moment of silence for George Floyd. They then shook hands with some of the protesters.
BENICIA, Calif. (KGO) — Residents in Benicia held a peaceful protest on Sunday.
Officers took a knee as the crowd held a moment of silence for George Floyd. They then shook hands with some of the protesters.

RELATED: Santa Cruz police chief takes knee alongside peaceful protesters  Officers stressed that they would allow for a peaceful protest.