Tag Archives: Benicia CA

COVID case numbers back up in Solano County, 380 new infections, largely among the younger age groups

By Roger Straw, Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Wednesday, September 15: Solano reports 380 new infections since Monday, over 75% under 50 years of age

Solano County COVID dashboard SUMMARY:
[Sources: see below.]

DEATHS: No new deaths todayTotal Solano deaths over the course of the pandemic now at 280.

CASES: The County reported  380 new COVID cases over the last two days, quickly back up to 190 per day after Monday’s drop to 50 per day, and well back in the range of last winter’s surge.

CASES BY AGE GROUP:  Solano cases are trending upward among younger residents. The percentage of Solano’s cases among our youth 0-17 years of age has increased very slowly over the course of the pandemic, starting below 6%, and only gradually reaching 12% in mid-April of 2021.  With today’s new cases alone, the two younger age groups each increased a tenth of a percentage point of total cases.  Those age 0-17 now represent 14% of total cases, and those age 18-49 represent 55.4% of total cases.  Also note that those age 0-17 accounted for 19% of today’s new cases, nearly equal to their percentage of Solano’s population – this among youth who were much less likely to be infected.  Note that Solano youth 0-17 continue to show very few hospitalizations (63 admissions, or 2% of total) and no deaths.

COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION RATE: Over the last 7 days, Solano has seen 750 new cases, NEARLY TWICE the CDC’s population-based definition of a HIGH rate of transmission!  Based on Solano County population of 449,432, the CDC would rate us in “SUBSTANTIAL” transmission with 225 cases over the last 7 days.  Double that, or 450 cases in the last 7 days would rank us in “HIGH” transmission.  And we are at 750 cases as of today!  [Reference: CDC’s level for “High Community Transmission”.]

ACTIVE CASES: Solano’s 773 ACTIVE cases is up significantly from Monday’s 588, and up alarmingly up from 212 on July 2.

POSITIVE TEST RATE:  Our 7-day average percent positivity rate was 10.7% today, down from 9.1% on Monday.  COMPARE: today’s California rate is 3.3%.  Today’s U.S. rate shot up from 9.7% to 15.0%[Source: Johns Hopkins]  WARNING: The Delta Variant is here in Solano County and spreading fast.  Time to mask up again – watch out and take care!

HOSPITALIZATIONS:

CURRENT hospitalizations were down slightly today from 93 to 92 persons, but still in the range we saw during the winter surge.

ICU Bed Availability went up today from 17% to 23%, but still in the yellow danger zone.  Again, we are still in the range we saw during the winter surge.

Ventilator Availability fell today from 59% to only 49%, in the range of last February’s winter surge.

TOTAL hospitalizations  Solano County’s TOTAL hospitalized over the course of the pandemic must be independently discovered in the County’s occasional update of hospitalizations by Age Group and by Race/Ethnicity.  The County did not update its Hospitalizations charts today. See below.  Interestingly, the TOTAL race/ethnicity numbers don’t square with the age group numbers.

FACE MASKS… Good News in Benicia and Vallejo

GOOD NEWS! Benicia City Council passed a citywide indoors mask mandate that went into effect on August 24 and includes everyone 4 years old and up when indoors in public places, even those of us who are vaccinated.  Benicia was joined by Vallejo on August 31.  In the Bay Area, Solano County REMAINS the only holdout against even RECOMMENDING masks in public indoors spaces.

SOLANO COUNTY dropped the ball on consideration of a MASK MANDATE.  The Solano County Board of Supervisors failed to even consider the proposed MASK MANDATE on Tuesday, September 14.  The agenda called for discussion of an indoors mask mandate for all and a vaccination mandate for county workers.  Although it was not on the agenda, the Board voted 4-1 to require county-run facilities in Vallejo and Benicia to abide by local mandates.  The Board voted down the vaccination mandate 3-2, and failed to even consider the county-wide mask mandate.  The Solano Board of Supervisors now joins with Dr. Bela Matyas in officially showing poor leadership on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cases by City on Wednesday, September 15:
  • Benicia added 9 new cases today, a total of 1,378 cases since the outbreak began.  Benicia has seen 24 new cases over the last 7 days, remaining just below the CDC’s definition of HIGH community transmission (based on Benicia population).  Benicia is still at the high end of the CDC’s range of SUBSTANTIAL transmission.  [Note that Solano County is also rated far above high transmission, and Solano’s 6 other cities are likely also individually experiencing high or substantial transmission.]
  • Dixon added 17 new cases today, total of 2,403 cases.
  • Fairfield added 65 new cases today, total of 11,624 cases.
  • Rio Vista added 5 new cases today, total of 547 cases.
  • Suisun City added 34 new cases today, total of 3,045 cases.
  • Vacaville added 136 new cases today, a total of 11,399 cases.
  • Vallejo added 114 new cases today, a total of 12,664 cases.
  • Unincorporated added 0 new cases today, a total of 134 cases (population figures not available).

Continue reading COVID case numbers back up in Solano County, 380 new infections, largely among the younger age groups

Solano County reverses position: staff and visitors will have to mask up in Vallejo libraries

By Roger Straw, September 15, 2021

In 4-1 decision, Solano County Board of Supervisors recognize primacy of Vallejo indoors mask mandate

Just yesterday, I highlighted Times-Herald reporter Richard Freedman’s story, “Vallejo libraries immune from mask mandates.”

The news then was that Solano County’s lack of strong leadership on masking indoors would prevail over Vallejo’s mandate because the libraries in Vallejo are run by the County.

I invited everyone in Vallejo to come to Benicia libraries, which are not run by Solano County.

But later yesterday morning, our Solano County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to respect local mandates in facilities run by the County.  (The Board would not recognize the importance of masking indoors in the rest of the county – they failed to even bring that issue to a vote.)  But as of today, if you visit or work in any of Vallejo’s Solano offices, including the Superior Court building and the libraries, you are obligated to follow Vallejo’s mask mandate.

>> Download details of the Vallejo Mask Mandate

Residents can feel a bit better about entering County buildings in Vallejo now, but you may want to stay away from County facilities in Fairfield and Vacaville.  And I want you to know that you’re STILL welcome here in Benicia, where ALL public indoors facilities require masks for workers and visitors alike.

Solano Board of Supervisors backs Bela on masks and vaccinations, but gives nod to Benicia and Vallejo mandates

[BenIndy Editor: Note that the Board never even addressed Supervisor Brown’s request for a countywide indoors mask mandate like we established here in Benicia and Vallejo.  Benicia and Vallejo are clearly on our own here in Solano County.  Concerned up-county residents should consider shopping and doing business down here in Benicia/Vallejo.  And Solano employees might want to start looking for a new job!  – R.S.]

Divided board won’t mandate vaccines for Solano employees

Solano County Supervisor Erin Hannigan speaks while debating mandated vaccines and masks for Solano County employees during a Board of Supervisors meeting at the Government Center in Fairfield, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)
County workers must adhere to mask policies in communities where they work

Fairfield Daily Republic, By Todd R. Hansen, September 15, 2021

FAIRFIELD — Solano County employees will not be required to get Covid-19 vaccinations, but will have to honor mask requirements in city jurisdictions that have them.

Benicia and Vallejo temporarily require everyone – vaccinated or not – to wear a mask in indoor public places. The state has the same mandate for individuals who are not vaccinated.

Masks are required in all medical facilities, and in schools.

Benicia Mayor Steve Young

Benicia Mayor Steve Young was one of 17 individuals who called into the Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday. The county also received more than 100 written correspondences, two-thirds of which opposed the policies. The callers were slightly weighted in the other direction.

Young urged the board to enact its own mask mandate, though that issue was never formally up for consideration.

A county mask mandate for public indoor places was expected to be one of two issues considered by the board, but Supervisor Erin Hannigan, who had raised the mask requirement and the county vaccination mandate, backed off the full mask mandate in favor of requiring that county employees adhere to the rules of other jurisdictions.

The new mandate mostly affects county employees who work at county buildings in Vallejo. The board supported the policy on a 4-1 vote with board Chairman John Vasquez dissenting without comment.

The supervisors voted 2-3, with Vasquez, Supervisor Jim Spering and Supervisor Mitch Mashburn in the majority, to defeat Hannigan’s motion to mandate vaccinations for county employees and contractors. Supervisor Monica Brown supported the action.

“The only way we are going to get out of this pandemic is everyone get vaccinated,” Hannigan said.

Those who argued against the vaccines for county employees, also largely argued against the mask requirement, framing the issues as ones of personal freedoms and choice.

Some took great exception to anyone telling them what they must inject into their bodies. Others were less forceful, and even noted they, too, had been vaccinated, but were in no position to tell others what to do, and strongly believe government should stay out of personal medical decisions.

Corianne Tunstall comments as the Solano County Board of Supervisors debate mandated vaccines and masks for Solano County employees during a Board of Supervisors meeting at the Government Center in Fairfield, Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

But Corianne Tunstall, a local hairdresser, said those “personal decisions” do not only affect those individuals, as she is frequently exposed to clients who have not been vaccinated, and who refuse to wear masks even though state law requires them to do so.

She told the board she could not afford to get sick and miss work, and felt it was wrong that others could choose to expose her and she could, in turn, expose her family.

Dr. Seth Kaufman is the chief medical officer for NorthBay Healthcare. (Courtesy photo)

Others who supported the policies included Dr. Seth Kaufman, chief medical officer at NorthBay Healthcare. He called the vaccines and masks critical pieces in the fight against Covid-19.

“We are off the charts on the number of patients we are seeing,” Kaufman said. “Our hospitals are full; our clinics are overflowing with Covid patients.”

The public discussion followed a Covid-19 status update by Dr. Bela Matyas, the county public health officer.

Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County public health officer

He told the board that the county is emerging from the latest Covid surge that started shortly after July 4, and that includes lower number of individuals being hospitalized.

Matyas reiterated his position that a mask policy will be ineffective because the data show transmission is not taking place in public settings, but rather at private social gatherings and at home. He noted that the vast majority of counties that have mask mandates are not seeing their disease rates fall like they should if the policy worked.

However, he also reiterated his position that the best way to defeat Covid-19 is to get vaccinated.

About 64% of the residents 12 or older have been fully vaccinated, while 76% have received at least one shot. That leaves about 135,000 residents who are eligible for vaccines who have not been innoculated, Matyas said.

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data Friday that indicate people who are unvaccinated who contract Covid-19 are 11 times more likely to die than are those who are vaccinated.

[continued…]

Vallejo (and all Solano County) residents are welcome in Benicia’s library where masks are required

By Roger Straw, September 14, 2021

[UPDATE: County reverses itself – click here…]

Worried about Solano County Library system not requiring masks?  Visit us in Benicia!

Benicia Public Library is locally run and follows Benicia’s indoors mask mandate.

And here’s good news from the Benicia Library websiteVallejo residents are welcome in Benicia’s library.   Solano County, St. Helena, and Dixon cards are valid in Benicia.

Even if you don’t check out a book, it’s a great place to just sit and read a magazine or get on the internet!

Here’s from the Benicia library website about pandemic hours and masks: “The Benicia Public Library has restored regular service hours, and we are excited to welcome you back inside our building. Whether you want to use a computer or plug into our free Wi-Fi, visit an exhibit, borrow materials or just browse our bookcases, we are here for you. Please bring your mask and library card. If you do not have one, they are free.”

The mask requirement applies whether you are vaccinated or not.