COVID hospitalizations in Solano County up by 16, ICU bed count down 10%


[Source: Solano County Coronavirus Dashboard.  For a complete archive of day by day data, see my Excel ARCHIVE.]

This thing is far from over…

Thursday, October 22: 44 new cases overnight, no new deaths, 16 (!) new hospitalizations.  Since the outbreak began: 7,249 cases, 421 hospitalized, 74 deaths.Compare previous report, Wednesday, Oct. 21:Summary

  • Solano County reported 44 new cases overnight, total of 7,249 cases since the outbreak started.  Over the last 2 weeks, Solano reported 541 new cases, average of 39 per day (significantly higher than the previous weeks’ daily averages).
  • Deaths – no new deaths today, total of 74 Solano deaths since the pandemic began.
  • Active cases – Solano reported 23 additional ACTIVE cases today, total of 324.  Last week, Solano reported over 300 active cases for the first time since September 4, and we’re back to that level again yesterday and today.  Today’s total is the highest since September 3.  Note that only 18 of these 324 people are hospitalized, so there are a lot of infected folks out among us, hopefully quarantined.  Is the County equipped to contact trace so many infected persons?  Who knows?  To my knowledge, Solano County has offered no reports on contact tracing.
  • Hospitalizations – the number of currently hospitalized persons fell by 3 today, total of 18.  This despite two other seemingly contradictory reports: a sharp drop in ICU beds available (see below) AND a sudden large increase in the total number hospitalized since the outbreak started.  Total hospitalized rose from 405 yesterday to 421 today, the first daily increase of more than 1 since October 2. I suspect the County is backfilling old numbers reported for the first time today.  (Is it possible these numbers were held back deliberately for a time to help qualify for a more lenient tier under state health ratings?  It is well known that our County health department favors re-opening and has been publicly critical of state health regulations.)  For manual calculation of total, see age group stats below.
  • ICU Bedsthe County reported a sharp decrease in ICU beds available, down from 39% yesterday to 29% today, and displaying in cautionary YELLOW.  Today’s 29% is the lowest since the County began reporting beds by percentage on June 22(Still no information about availability of ventilators.)
  • Testing – The County reports today that 547 more residents were tested overnight, new total of 100,496.  (Solano has AVERAGED 511 tested per day over the last 3 weeks.)  Solano has a long way to go; only 22.4% of Solano County’s 447,643 residents (2019) have been tested.  (And even less, considering that some individuals have been tested more than once.)

Positive Test Rate

Solano County reported today that our 7-day average test rate fell today from 5.3% to 4.9%.  Average percent positive test rates are among the best metrics for measuring the spread of the virus.  The much more stable California 7-day test rate rose slightly today, from 2.6% to 2.7%(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 also lags behind current unknown results.) 

By Age Group

  • Youth 17 and under – 10 new cases today, total of 823 cases, representing 11.4% of the 7,249 total cases1 new hospitalization was reported among this age group today, the first Solano youth to be hospitalized in a month, for a new total of 7 hospitalizations since the outbreak began.  Thankfully, no deaths have ever been reported in Solano County in this age groupBut 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 just over 11% since September 30, increasing to 11.4% for the first time today.  Youth are 22% of Solano’s general population, so this 11.x% may seem low.  The significance is this: 1) youth numbers increased steadily and at a faster rate than the other age groups, and 2) youth are SERIOUSLY NOT IMMUNE (!) – in fact 7 youth have now been hospitalized.
  • Persons 18-49 years of age – 24 new cases today, total of 4,307 cases. This age group is 41% of the population in Solano, but represents 60% of the total cases, by far the highest percentage of all age groups.  The County reported 4 new hospitalizations in this young age group today, total of 135 hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths in this group today, total of 5 deaths.  Some in this group are surely ignoring public health orders, and many are providing essential services among us.  I expect this group is a major factor in the spread of the virus.
  • Persons 50-64 years of age – 6 new cases today, total of 1,391 cases.  This age group represents over 19% of the 7,249 total cases. 6 new hospitalizations were reported today, total of 115 hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths in this age group today, a total of 15 deaths.
  • Persons 65 years or older – 4 new cases today, total of 726.  This age group’s 726 cases represent 10% of the 7,249 total cases.
    5 new hospitalizations reported today, total of 164.  In this older age group, 22.6% of cases required hospitalization at one time.  No new deaths, total of 54 of our elders who died of COVID.  This group accounts for 54 of the 74 total deaths, or 73%.

City Data

  • Benicia remained steady today, total of 186 cases since the outbreak began.
  • Dixon added 2 new cases today, total of 465 cases.
  • Fairfield added 14 new cases today, total of 2,357 cases.
  • Rio Vista remained steady today, total of 57 cases.
  • Suisun City added 2 new cases today, total of 527 cases.
  • Vacaville added 16 new cases today, total of 1,270 cases.
  • Vallejo added 10 new cases today, total of 2,364 cases.
  • Unincorporated areas remained steady today, total of 23 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, 11% of hospitalizations, and 19% of deaths.
  • Black Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 11% of cases, but 18% of hospitalizations, and 24% of deaths.
  • Latinx Americans are 26% of Solano’s population, but account for 28% of cases, 29% of hospitalizations, and 18% of deaths.
  • White Americans are 39% of the population in Solano County, but only account for 22% of cases, 26% of hospitalizations and 30% of deaths.

More…

The County’s new and improved 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 a report or two.  Check out the Dashboard at https://doitgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=055f81e9fe154da5860257e3f2489d67.

Coronavirus in Solano County – another 34 cases today


[Source: Solano County Coronavirus Dashboard.  For a complete archive of day by day data, see my Excel ARCHIVE.]

This thing is far from over…

Wednesday, October 21: 34 new cases overnight, no new deaths, no new hospitalizations.  Since the outbreak began: 7,205 cases, 405 hospitalized, 74 deaths.Compare previous report, Tuesday, Oct. 20:Summary

  • Solano County reported 34 new cases overnight, total of 7,205 cases since the outbreak started.  Over the last 2 weeks, Solano reported 547 new cases, average of 39 per day (significantly higher than the previous weeks’ daily averages).
  • Deaths – no new deaths today, total of 74 Solano deaths since the pandemic began.
  • Active cases – Solano reported 17 additional ACTIVE cases today, total of 301.  Last week, Solano reported over 300 active cases for the first time since September 4, and we’re back to that level again today.  Note that only 21 of these 301 people are hospitalized, so there are a lot of infected folks out among us, hopefully quarantined.  Is the County equipped to contact trace so many infected persons?  Who knows?  To my knowledge, Solano County has offered no reports on contact tracing.
  • Hospitalizations – the number of currently hospitalized persons fell by 5 today, total of 21.  The total number hospitalized since the outbreak started remained steady today, total of 405. (For manual calculation of total, see age group stats below).
  • ICU Beds – the County reported a slight decrease in ICU beds available, down from 41% to 39%(Still no information about availability of ventilators.)
  • Testing – The County reports today that 717 more residents were tested overnight, new total of 99,949.  (Solano has AVERAGED nearly 500 tested per day over the last 3 weeks.)  Solano has a long way to go; only 22.3% of Solano County’s 447,643 residents (2019) have been tested.  (And even less, considering that some individuals have been tested more than once.)

Positive Test Rate

Solano County reported today that our 7-day average test rate fell today from 6.0% to 5.3%.  Average percent positive test rates are among the best metrics for measuring the spread of the virus.  The much more stable California 7-day test rate rose slightly today, from 2.5% to 2.6%(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 also lags behind current unknown results.) 

By Age Group

  • Youth 17 and under – 5 new cases today, total of 813 cases, representing 11.3% of the 7,205 total cases.  No new hospitalizations among this age group today, a total of 6 hospitalizations since the outbreak began.  Thankfully, no deaths have ever been reported in Solano County in this age groupBut 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 just over 11% since September 30, increasing to 11.3% for the first time Monday 10/19.  Youth are 22% of Solano’s general population, so this 11.x% may seem low.  The significance is this: 1) youth numbers increased steadily and at a faster rate than the other age groups, and 2) youth are SERIOUSLY NOT IMMUNE (!) – in fact 6 youth have now been hospitalized.
  • Persons 18-49 years of age – 21 new cases today, total of 4,283 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 in this age group today, total of 131 hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths in this young age group today, total of 5 deaths.  Some in this group are surely ignoring public health orders, and many are providing essential services among us.  I expect this group is a major factor in the spread of the virus.
  • Persons 50-64 years of age – only 4 new cases today, total of 1,385 cases.  This age group represents over 19% of the 7,205 total cases. No new hospitalizations today, total of 109 hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths in this age group today, a total of 15 deaths.
  • Persons 65 years or older – 7 new cases today, total of 722.  This age group’s 722 cases represent 10% of the 7,205 total cases.  No new hospitalizations, total of 159.  In this older age group, 22% of cases required hospitalization at one time.  No new deaths, total of 54 of our elders who died of COVID.  This group accounts for 54 of the 74 total deaths, or 73%.

City Data

  • Benicia added 1 new case today, total of 186 cases since the outbreak began.
  • Dixon added 1 new case today, total of 463 cases.
  • Fairfield added 13 new cases today, total of 2,343 cases.
  • Rio Vista remained steady today, total of 57 cases.
  • Suisun City added 3 new cases today, total of 525 cases.
  • Vacaville added 10 new cases today, total of 1,254 cases.
  • Vallejo added only 6 new cases today, total of 2,354 cases.
  • Unincorporated areas remained steady today, total of 23 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, 11% of hospitalizations, and 19% of deaths.
  • Black Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 11% of cases, but 18% of hospitalizations, and 24% of deaths.
  • Latinx Americans are 26% of Solano’s population, but account for 28% of cases, 29% of hospitalizations, and 18% of deaths.
  • White Americans are 39% of the population in Solano County, but only account for 22% of cases, 27% of hospitalizations and 30% of deaths.

More…

The County’s new and improved 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 a report or two.  Check out the Dashboard at https://doitgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=055f81e9fe154da5860257e3f2489d67.

Letter from Benicia’s Marilyn Bardet to BAAQMD: Must enforce refinery air monitor requirements

Copy of Marilyn Bardet’s letter, forcefully asking the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to follow through on promised enforcement of refinery air monitoring standards


Marilyn Bardet

From: Marilyn Bardet <email>
Subject: BAAQMD oversight/enforcement of Reg 12 – Rule 15, the Petroleum Refining Emissions Tracking Rule.
Date: October 21, 2020 at 3:37:37 PM PDT
To: Marcy Hiratzka <email@baaqmd.gov>

October 21, 2020

BAAQMD Board of Directors
Chair: Council member Rod Sinks, City of Cupertino
Vice Chair: Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Santa Clara County
Secretary: Supervisor Karen Mitchoff,  Contra Costa County

Sent via email:  <email@baaqmd.gov>

Subject:    BAAQMD oversight and enforcement of Regulation 12 – Rule 15, the Petroleum Refining Emissions Tracking Rule.

Dear Chair Rod Sinks, Vice Chair Cindy Chaves, Secretary Karen Mitchoff and Direrctors

I’m writing  as a 34-year resident of Benicia and a founding active member of the Good Neighbor Steering Committee, [“GNSC”] which was organized in 2000 to address public concerns and protect community health and safety as related to operations of the Valero refinery. I’d hope to express the following concerns at the Special Meeting held as a webinar today, but was unable to do so.

On August 1st, the Board received emailed letters from Jay Gunkelman and myself, outlining problems to date with refineries’ fenceline monitoring systems’ performance and reliability.

As you recall, Rule 15 was adopted in April, 2016. It required Bay Area refineries to install new, best technology fenceline monitoring systems, with raw data to be collected in real time at 5 minute intervals, and with a website provided for public access to that data.

After 4 years since Rule 15’s adoption, for the sake of public health and community safety, we would have expected by now that the Air District would have enforced standards for reliable performance of fenceline monitoring systems at all Bay Area refineries, and that data quality would be assured. Yet, to date, as per Rule 15 protocols, the District has not yet signed off on—e.g., given final approval of— the refineries’ fenceline monitoring and quality assurance plans. This is an unacceptable situation.

Today, we encourage the board and staff to fully address the various problems associated to Rule 15’s implementation at all Bay Area refineries. 

Pertinent to the Benicia community, Valero recently asserted that their Benicia refinery will be “the last man standing” among Bay Are refineries, and will continue to refine crude oil and produce petroleum products. Emissions tracking and fenceline monitoring will continue to be of particular concern to Benicians. The reliability of Valero’s fenceline systems’ performance is in serious doubt. 

In 2017, as per Rule 15 Guidelines, the GNSC submitted substantial comments to the District on Valero’s plans that had been created by Sonoma Tech for Valero.

In late 2019, the Benicia City Council voted to encourage Valero to get their fenceline systems installed and up and running before the District’s original deadline. Valero complied, installing 3 pathway systems and creating a public website to provide access to the data collected. Later, when public questions began to arise, Valero said that the new Hydrogen Sulfide monitoring system they’d purchased had never been field tested. After a year’s worth of data collection, data reliability remains questionable even for “signature” gases, including benzene. According to the Federal EPA’s Benzene Fenceline Monitoring Program, Valero’s benzene emissions were not only found to be the highest in the Bay Area; Valero’s total benzene emissions are four times greater than the four other refineries in the region.

It is implausible that there would be so few reportable detections, as the website routinely reports. Repeatedly, the website indicates that instruments are offline, or data is “pending final review.” Whose review? There is apparently no public access to archived data. Good science requires independent validation of data. Credibility of the systems and the data collection is at stake. Without independent review, public confusion and doubt about the sytems’ reliability will persist.

Right now, there is no independent, 3rd party data analysis required by the Air District. Yet verification of data for accuracy is crucial to public trustUnfortunately, in our casethe District has still not yet approved Valero’s fenceline monitoring system plan including the required quality assurance plan as mandated by Rule 12-15.

In the meantime, concerned Benicia residents formed a non-profit, incorporated in 2019, to provide an independently operated, community-based air-monitoring station for Benicia, called Benicia Community Air Monitoring Program. The system will be operated by solar, and will meet international standards for data quality. (Funding was appropriated through GNSC’s urging amendments to the  Settlement Agreement negotiated with Valero and City of Benicia.) We expect the new station will be operational by the end of 2020.

How is it possible that a small community group in Benicia can locate, configure and install an array of air monitoring equipment in less than a year, while the refineries in the Bay Area are still installing technologically inferior fenceline systems four years after they were told by the BAAQMD that these systems had to be approved and proven reliable, thus producing accurate data by now? 

I reiterate my request made in my letter of August 1st: 

We ask the Board to compel Valero to present all of the data associated with these systems to the public as soon as possible. In addition, we would like to see all raw data produced by the fenceline system at Valero so that it can be reviewed by independent experts. We ask that the  public have access to all District staff comments on refineries’ monitoring plans including quality assurance plans.

Thank you for your timely consideration of these matters.

Respectfully,

Marilyn Bardet
Benicia CA 94510

City of Benicia now posting copies of Valero PAC ads and phone scripts

Now available on the City of Benicia website: pictures of Valero’s disgusting ads, copies of robocall messages, and the phone scripts used by live callers

In emails on Tuesday with City of Benicia officials, the Benicia Independent confirmed that Benicia’s campaign finance ordinance requires independent expenditure committees like the Valero PAC to submit for public review copies of the literature and scripts used in their promotions.

“An independent expenditure committee that makes an expenditure for 200 or more recorded telephone calls or any other forms of electronic or facsimile transmission of substantially similar content, or that makes an expenditure of $1,000 or more for a radio or television advertisement, or that mails or otherwise distributes more than 200 substantially similar pieces of campaign literature in support of or opposition to any candidate for mayor or city council, shall give a copy of the literature or script used for each communication to the city clerk within 24 hours of the first time the mailings, calls, transmissions, or advertisements are made or aired.” (Benicia Municipal Ordinance 1.40.110).

Valero has been submitting these copies, but until now the City had inadvertently not been posting them along with the required financial forms.

The City quickly amended previous postings of Valero’s financial disclosure reports to include photocopies and scripts used to promote their candidate for Mayor and to run down mayoral candidate Steve Young.  If you have the stomach for it, head over to our VALERO PAC FINANCIAL DISCLOSURES page.  (Note that the first four documents do not have any such attachments.)

For safe and healthy communities…