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CORRECTION: Benicia Vaccine Clinic Thursday April 8 ok for ages 50 and over

By Roger Straw, April 5, 2021

Good news for those age 50+

The City of Benicia sent out an email announcement this morning stating that the Thursday’s vaccine clinic is for those age 50+.  A previous announcement indicated the vaccine would initially be for those 60+, and if there are still reservation openings, the clinic would open further to those 50 and over.

Here’s  the email announcement.

Benicia COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic

The City of Benicia is pleased to have the opportunity to host a Johnson & Johnson one-dose COVID-19 vaccine clinic for the more vulnerable members of our community (those age 50+).

WHO: Age 50+
WHAT: Johnson & Johnson vaccine – You will be fully vaccinated with a single dose.
WHERE: Benicia Senior Center – 187 East L Street, Benicia, CA 94510
WHEN: Thursday, April 8th
HOW: Registration is required. Register at https://tinyurl.com/aprilbeniciavaccine
BRING: Completed assessment form, photo ID, email confirmation
Print and complete the attached assessment form. Bring the completed form with you to your appointment. Also be prepared to present the email confirmation of your vaccine appointment from Sign Up Genius – either printed or displayed on your cell phone.

Please plan to arrive at the Benicia Senior Center no more than 15 minutes early. Bring a valid photo ID, your completed assessment form, and your email confirmation from Sign Up Genius that you received after your registration. Due to limited space, only the person being vaccinated and (if needed) 1 support person will be allowed at the vaccine clinic.

Parking is limited. Please consider carpooling. There is also a drop off site in front of the Benicia Public Library. If you must drive yourself, parking is available at the Benicia Public Library parking lot at 150 East L Street, the City Hall parking lot at 245 East K Street, and the Community Center parking lot at 370 East L Street.

The appointment will take approximately 30-40 minutes. Face masks are required. Vaccine will be given in the upper arm; please wear a loose fitting shirt.

Need help scheduling or have questions? Call 707.746.4710 Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Benicia hosts one-dose Vaccine Clinic this Thurs at Senior Center, age 60+ (and maybe 50+)

CORRECTION: The City later announced that the clinic is open to anyone age 50+.

Message from the City Manager

From City of Benicia This Week Newsletter
Monday, April 5, 2021

Hello Everyone,

I’m very excited this week that we were able to partner with Solano County Public Health to host another vaccine clinic this week. We were able to get 400 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. We will be focusing on seniors 60 and over in Solano County in hopes of getting vaccine to those most vulnerable who have not yet been able to be vaccinated. If there are still reservation openings, we will open it further to 50 and over. Please see the link in the article below to sign up for a reservation…we will only be accepting those who have signed up online. With our numbers in Solano County trending dangerously up, it is critical we get as many people vaccinated as quickly as we can….

Erik Upson
City Manager

Benicia COVID Vaccine Clinic Thursday

The City of Benicia is pleased to have the opportunity to host a Johnson & Johnson one-dose COVID-19 vaccine clinic for the more vulnerable members of our community, those aged 60 and above. The clinic will be on Thursday, April 8, 9 a.m. – noon at Benicia Senior Center.  Registration is required.
Sign up at www.tinyurl.com/AprilBeniciaVaccine.

More… COVID Assistance
Find resources and information for seniors, local food access, basic needs and rental assistance, mental health, stress and coping, and more courtesy of Solano County Public Health. Benicia residents in need of help during these difficult times may find assistance through these local resources:

·     Benicia Community Action Council, 707.745.0900

·     Benicia Family Resource Center, 707.746.4352

·     Carquinez Village for Seniors, 707.297.2472

·     Faith Food Fridays, 707.557.7933

·     Families in Transition of Benicia, 707.645.3000

·     Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano, 707.421.9777

·     Food is Free Solano, 415.948.3131

·     Hamann Foundation for Cancer Patients, 707.246.6567

·     Kyle Hyland Foundation for Teen Support, 707.301.8312

·     Meals on Wheels Solano County, 707.425.0638

·     St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Community Meals, 707.745.0307

·     Society of St. Vincent de Paul-St. Dominic’s Conference, 707.746.1773

Benicia’s Earl Miller a COVID victim: ‘I wanted to die’

COVID victim Earl Miller: ‘I wanted to die’

High-profile Benician hit hard

Earl Miller, pre-COVID. The Benician living part-time in Mexico and his wife, Jane, have been hit hard by the virus. (Courtesy photo)

Vallejo Times Herald, by Richard Freedman, December 31, 2020

In his 70 years, Earl Miller survived the repercussions of drug addiction, heart attacks, a stroke, knee replacement, and gastrointestinal surgery.

Never, he said, he did want to die more than from the COVID-19 misery he’s suffered since around Christmas along with his wife, Jane.

“I thought we were done for,” Miller said. “We had it so bad the first week, I thought death would be a better alternative. It’s no joke. My lungs felt like they were going to explode. My eyesight is all messed up. I hurt all over; every bone in my body. I am dizzy and can’t stand up and I wake up completely drenched from a fever. My head felt like it was going to explode. Then there’s the diarrhea, alternating between feeling like throwing up.”

Earl and Jane Miller get house calls from a doctor wearing haz-mat gear at their home in San Pancho, Mexico. (Courtesy photo)

“Every minute,” Miller continued, “I thought I was going to die.”

A colorful longtime Benician spending December at their second home in San Pancho, Mexico, Miller realized all was not well when he developed a “metallic tasting mouth,” accompanied by headaches, runny nose and respiratory distress.

COVID-19 symptoms hit Miller’s wife first. It was Christmas when she got tested “so we had to wait an extra day” for the results, Earl said.

“They told Jane she was positive. Two days later, I came down with exactly the same symptoms. I knew I had it,” said Miller, never one to doubt the seriousness of the virus.

“I did everything not to get it, but we let our guard down for one moment,” Miller said. “For five months, I was so safe. I’ve been scared of this thing since day one. With all my diseases, I thought for sure if I got it I would die and that would be the end of it.”

Unfortunately, the Millers had a visitor from the U.S. for four days.

“On the last day here, he felt sick and went home,” Earl said. “He called and said he tested positive. The next day, Jane came down with it and couldn’t get out of bed. As I said, you want to die. It came on so fast. It’s just the worst.”

Miller compared it to getting the worst possible flu “when everything hurts. Now multiply that times 20 with a headache that’s 10 times worse than a migraine.”

Thanks to intravenous liquids, sleeping pills, pain pills, and breathing inhalers, Miller believed Wednesday that “we are on the mend.”

On Thursday, Miller thought otherwise.

“We took a turn for the worse Wednesday night,” he said on a FaceTime call Thursday morning. “We are still going through it, as it seems we both woke up a few steps backwards this morning.”

During the call from San Pancho, Miller said his chest still hurt and he gets dizzy. That wasn’t the case Wednesday.

“I felt so good, I went swimming,” he said. “My doctor told me, ‘You can’t swim. Water will get into your lungs and you’ll die.’ So I stopped swimming. We can’t even take a shower.”

Miller said his wife felt “75 to 85 percent” better over the weekend but “took a nose dive” and was still asleep early afternoon Thursday.

Jane and Earl Miller contracted COVID-19 via a visitor from the United States to their home in San Pancho, Mexico. (Courtesy photo)

Miller was last in the Bay Area four months ago, having his knee replaced at Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center.

“Now my knee is the only part of my body not hurting,” Miller said, managing to laugh.

One shining light through the seemingly endless agony: A nurse who Miller called “my angel.”

“It turns out she was a missionary who works with poor Indians in the mountains and has spent the last 11 years giving her time learning to be a nurse and doctor so she can help them,” Miller said. “That’s my new cause. When this is over, I’m going to help her any way I can.”

Miller, founder of the defunct Reach Out Benicia drug counseling nonprofit for youth, returns a handful of times a year to Solano County to visit friends and pursue real estate sales. He and his wife built tourist-based “Roberto’s Bungalows” in San Pancho in 2011. The town of 1,500 is 33 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. They sold the property and recently built a new inn a few miles up the road.

“Here we are in paradise and we can’t enjoy it,” Miller said, acknowledging a lesson in gratitude.

“More than 350,000 died from this, thousands are suffering, and I’m worried about my pool not being 90 degrees,” he said.

Miller said he would get vaccinated as soon as possible if he could have prevented this “feeling that you want to die.”

Those who refuse to wear masks or take other COVID-19 precautions?

“I think it’s a pity. I really do. I think it’s selfish,” Miller said. “I think that somewhere along the lines something went wrong with their mental capacity to love others. It’s about us not spreading and killing someone’s mother, father, grandmother, grandfather or best friend.  It’s about saving people’s lives.”

Though Miller can’t celebrate the New Year on the beach with local friends and other “gringos,” he said he’ll be happy to just survive.

“It’s been a rough year,” he said. “I think in 2021 we’ve got to step back and stop hating each other and start loving and caring for each other. I think there’s still time to save lives.”

Again, said Miller, “wear a mask. It doesn’t hurt. Get a funny one. Get one that looks like me.”

Benicia now over 500 COVID-19 cases, Solano County approaching 20,000

By Roger Straw, December 30, 2020  [Sources: see below.]

Wednesday, December 30: 282 new Solano cases overnight, no new deaths.  Since Feb: 19,008 cases, more than 745 hospitalized, 98 deaths.Compare previous report, Tuesday, Dec. 29:Summary

    • Solano County reported 282 new cases overnightIn just the last 14 days, Solano has seen an increase of 4,616 new cases.  We’re averaging 330 (!) new cases every day! (source: covid19.ca.gov Total of 19,008 cases since the outbreak started.
    • Deaths – no new deaths reported today, a total of 98 Solano deaths since the pandemic began.
    • Active casesSolano reported 130 more active cases today for a total of 2,138 active casesSolano’s average number of Active Cases during October was 284, average in November was 650 – and TODAY we are at 2,130!  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 – CAUTION ON SOLANO HEALTH DEPARTMENT 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 reported 5 more CURRENTLY hospitalized persons, total of 134.  Among the age groups, the County reported only 3 new hospitalizations, for a total of 747 persons hospitalized since the outbreak began.  [For the numbers used in my manual calculation of total hospitalizations, see age group stats belowFor COVID19-CA.GOV numbers, see BenIndy page, COVID-19 Hospitalizations Daily Update for Solano County.]
    • ICU Beds – Solano County reported fewer ICU beds available today, back down to only 11% available, in the YELLOW DANGER ZONECOVID19-CA.GOV reported today that Solano hospitals had 13 available ICU beds as of yesterday, December 29(For COVID19-CA.GOV info see BenIndy page, COVID-19 Hospitalizations Daily Update for Solano County, and for REGIONAL data see COVID-19 ICU Bed Availability by REGION.)
    • Testing – The County upgraded its report on testing today.  Previously reporting only the Total Number of Unduplicated Residents Tested, today the County added a new stat, Total Tests Performed.  I am guessing that the first record, “Unduplicated,” was adjusted down some today, as the County reported an increase of only 214, far below the usual daily increase.  Solano reports today that a 166,379 unduplicated residents have now been tested for COVID-19 since the outbreak began, and that a total of 216,435 tests have been performed on Solano residents.  Thus, just over 50,000 tests have been administered on residents who had been previously tested.  37.2% of Solano County’s 447,643 residents (2019) have been tested.

Solano County reported our 7-day average positive test rate today at 19.0%, up from yesterday’s 18.2%, and still 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 was down from yesterday’s 12.0% to 11.8% today(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.) 

By Age Group – Continuing a holiday surge in all age groups
  • Youth 17 and under – 25 new cases today, total of 2,116 cases, representing 11.2% of the 19,008 total cases.  No new hospitalizations reported today among this age group, total of 17 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 at over 11% since September 30.  Youth are 22% of Solano’s general population, so this 11% may seem low.  The significance is this: youth are SERIOUSLY NOT IMMUNE (!) – in fact at least 17 of our youth have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.
  • Persons 18-49 years of age – 142 new cases today, total of 10,804 cases. This age group is 41% of the population in Solano, but represents 56.9% of the total cases, by far the highest percentage of all age groups.  The County reported 1 new hospitalization among persons in this age group today.  A total of 237 are reported to have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.  Solano recorded no new deaths in this young group today, total of 7 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 – 71 new cases today, total of 3,936 cases.  This age group represents 20.7% of the 19,008 total cases.  The County reported 1 new hospitalization among persons in this age group today.  A total of 205 are reported to have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths were reported in this age group today, a total of 17 deaths.
  • Persons 65 years or older – 44 new cases today, total of 2,143, representing 11.3% of Solano’s 19,008 total cases.  The County reported 1 new hospitalization among persons in this age group today.  A total of 288 have been hospitalized since the outbreak began.  No new deaths were reported in this age group today.  A total of 74 of our elders have died of COVID, accounting for 76% of Solano’s 98 total deaths.
City Data
  • Benicia added 11 new cases today, total of 504 cases since the outbreak began. 
  • Dixon added 9 new cases today, total of 1216 cases.
  • Fairfield added 73 new cases today, total of 5,395 cases.
  • Rio Vista added 5 new cases today, total of 161 cases.
  • Suisun City added 26 new cases today, total of 1,330 cases.
  • Vacaville added 71 new cases today, total of 4,768 cases.
  • Vallejo added 87 new cases today, total of 5,573 cases.
  • Unincorporated areas remained steady today, total of 61 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 17% of deaths.
  • Black Americans are 14% of Solano’s population, and account for 11% of cases, but 16% of hospitalizations, and 20% of deaths.
  • Latinx Americans are 26% of Solano’s population, but account for 17% of cases, 24% of hospitalizations, and 17% of deaths.
  • White Americans are 39% of the population in Solano County, but only account for 29% of cases, 29% of hospitalizations and 33% 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.

Source: Solano County Coronavirus Dashboard (posted on the County website late today, around 8pm).  For a complete archive of County updates, see my Excel ARCHIVEALSO see important daily updates from the state of California at COVID19.CA.GOV, embedded here on the BenIndy at Cases and Deaths AND Hospitalizations AND ICU Beds by REGION.