It’s coming, why wait? Solano County COVID numbers show need for shutdown now…
By Roger Straw, December 7, 2020
Unlike his colleagues in neighboring counties, Solano County Public Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas prefers to wait for Governor Newsom’s regional stay-at-home order. I have studied the numbers on a daily basis since April, and I think Matyas’ decision is incredibly unwise. This post-Thanksgiving outbreak is different from our earlier surges. We are in for a dramatic rise in COVID infections and hospitalizations now through mid-January.
So we need to take extra precautions, NOW. Your best advice is to stay home as much as you can, and make plans now for a different kind of Christmas, Hanukah and New Year celebration. Wear a mask if you must go out, order groceries for pick-up or delivery, don’t stay long anywhere but home, and keep your distance more carefully than ever before.
Here are the Monday numbers – take note!
[Source: Solano County Coronavirus Dashboard. For a complete archive of County updates, see my Excel ARCHIVE. ALSO see important daily updates from another source, COVID19.CA.GOV: here on the BenIndy at Cases and Deaths AND Hospitalizations AND ICU Beds by REGION.]
Monday, December 7: 334 (!) new cases over the weekend, no new deaths. Since Feb: 11,747 cases, more than 600 hospitalized, 85 deaths.Compare previous report, Friday, Dec. 4:Summary
- Solano County reported 334 (!) new cases over the weekend. As of today, Solano has seen an average of 142 new cases per day over the last 14 days! (source: covid19.ca.gov) Total of 11,747 cases since the outbreak started.
- Deaths – no new deaths reported today, total of 85 Solano deaths since the pandemic began.
- Active cases – Solano reported 116 fewer active cases today. New total of 1,080 active cases. Active cases have increased alarmingly lately – COMPARE: average number of Active Cases during October was 284 – today we are at 1,080! Is the County equipped to contact trace so many infected persons? Who knows? To my knowledge, Solano has offered no reports on contact tracing.
- Hospitalizations – (For best info, see BenIndy page, COVID-19 Hospitalizations Daily Update for Solano County.) CAUTION ON COUNTY REPORTING: According to Solano Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas, the County occasionally updates Age Group hospitalizations retroactively, adding substantial numbers. Thus, many hospitalizations are never reported as CURRENTLY hospitalized. Today, Solano County reported the number of CURRENTLY hospitalized persons increased by 2, total of 68, but TOTAL hospitalized since the outbreak began supposedly remained unchanged today, a total of 603 of all ages hospitalized since the outbreak began. The County will likely update this figure at a later date. [For my manual calculation of total hospitalizations, see age group stats below.]
- ICU Beds – (For detailed info see BenIndy page, COVID-19 Hospitalizations Daily Update for Solano County, and for REGIONAL data see COVID-19 ICU Bed Availability by REGION.) The County reported a decrease in ICU beds available today, down from 35% to 33%.
- Testing – The County reports today that 4,680 residents were tested over the weekend, a total of 135,052 unduplicated residents tested for COVID-19 since the outbreak began. 30.1% of Solano County’s 447,643 residents (2019) have been tested.
Positive Test Rate – Extremely high at 12.8%
Solano County reported another high 7-day average positive test rate today of 12.8%, down from Friday’s 16.8%, but far and away over the State’s purple tier threshold of 8%. Average percent positive test rates are among the best metrics for measuring community spread of the virus. The much lower and more stable California 7-day average test rate has also been on the rise lately, and rose substantially today from Friday’s 8.5% to 10.5%. (Note that Solano County displays past weeks and months in a 7-day test positivity line graph which also shows daily results. However, the chart does not display an accurate number of cases for the most recent days, as there is a lag time in receiving test results. The 7-day curve therefore also lags behind due to unknown recent test results.)
- Youth 17 and under – 29 (!) new cases today, total of 1,328 cases, representing 11.3% of the 11,747 total cases. No new hospitalizations reported today among this age group. Thankfully, no deaths have ever been reported in Solano County in this age group. But cases among Solano youth rose steadily over the summer, from 5.6% of total cases on June 8 to 11% on August 31 and has plateaued at over 11% since September 30. Youth are 22% of Solano’s general population, so this 11.x% may seem low. The significance is this: youth are SERIOUSLY NOT IMMUNE (!) – in fact at least 14 of our youth have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.
- Persons 18-49 years of age – 208 (!) new cases today, total of 6,891 cases. This age group is 41% of the population in Solano, but represents just under 60% of the total cases, by far the highest percentage of all age groups. The County reported no new hospitalizations among persons in this age group today. A total of 194 have been hospitalized since the outbreak began. No new deaths in this young group today, total of 6 deaths. Some in this group are surely at high risk, as many are providing essential services among us, and some may be ignoring public health orders. I expect this group is a major factor in the spread of the virus.
- Persons 50-64 years of age – 72 (!) new cases today, total of 2,299 cases. This age group represents nearly 20% of the 11,747 total cases. The County reported no new hospitalizations among persons in this age group today. A total of 162 have been hospitalized since the outbreak began. No new deaths in this age group today, a total of 16 deaths.
- Persons 65 years or older – 24 new cases today, total of 1,222, representing 10.4% of Solano’s 11,747 total cases. The County reported no new hospitalizations among persons in this age group today. A total of 233 have been hospitalized since the outbreak began. No new deaths in this age group today, total of 63 of our elders who died of COVID, accounting for 74% of Solano’s 85 total deaths.
- Benicia added 12 (!) new cases today, total of 312 cases since the outbreak began.
- Dixon added 26 (!) new cases today, total of 840 cases.
- Fairfield added 72 new cases today, total of 3,502 cases.
- Rio Vista remained steady today, total of 97 cases.
- Suisun City added 29 (!) new cases today, total of 818 cases.
- Vacaville added 98 (!) new cases today, total of 2,461 cases.
- Vallejo added 96 (!) new cases today, total of 3,676 cases.
- Unincorporated areas added 1 new case today, total of 41 cases.
Race / Ethnicity
The County report on race / ethnicity includes case numbers, hospitalizations, deaths and Solano population statistics. This information is discouragingly similar to national reports that indicate significantly worse outcomes among black and brown Americans. Note that all of this data surely undercounts Latinx Americans, as there is a large group of “Multirace / Others” which likely is composed mostly of Latinx members of our communities.
- Asian Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 10% of cases, 12% of hospitalizations, and 18% of deaths.
- Black Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 12% of cases, but 16% of hospitalizations, and 23% of deaths.
- Latinx Americans are 26% of Solano’s population, but account for 22% of cases, 26% of hospitalizations, and 18% of deaths.
- White Americans are 39% of the population in Solano County, but only account for 26% of cases, 28% of hospitalizations and 32% of deaths.
The County’s Coronavirus Dashboard is full of much more information, too extensive to cover here on a daily basis. The Benicia Independent will continue to summarize daily and highlight significant portions. For more, check out the Dashboard at https://doitgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=055f81e9fe154da5860257e3f2489d67.