We are committed to helping you and your family stay healthy during the coronavirus outbreak and to keeping you up–to–date on resources available to you locally through NorthBay Healthcare and other community sources.
We are fortunate that so far the number of people in Solano County who are sick with coronavirus and requiring hospitalization has remained low, but rest assured your local health care community is prepared should we see an increase in the coming days.
To keep tabs on the number of cases locally, check the Solano County Health Department website which is updated daily. Please note that much of the recent uptick in cases is due to an increase in the number of tests performed. Nevertheless, testing capability locally remains limited and we continue to test only those at very high risk.
If you are experiencing symptoms and are concerned about COVID-19 you have several options:
Virtual visit urgent care — Depending on your symptoms, you may be directed to an online video visit, or an in-person visit with an urgent care provider.
If you are high risk, because you are over 65 or have a chronic medical condition, call your NorthBay provider for guidance at (707) 646–5500.
To protect our patients and staff, most office visits at NorthBay Medical Practices are being converted to a phone or video visit. If you have a medical concern, or need to connect with a provider for an ongoing condition, call your provider’s office. Chances are your problem can be addressed with a video or phone visit. Please do not come to the office without a scheduled appointment.
We have set up a nurse assist line for our patients who need help accessing community resources such as food, prescriptions and transportation. If you need this type of help please call our nurses at (707) 646–5799.
On behalf of the entire NorthBay Healthcare family, I want to extend our gratitude to you for continuing to shelter–at–home, maintaining social distancing and doing your part to control the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Shanaz Khambatta, DO
Medical Director, NorthBay Center for Primary Care
[Editor: Peter Khoury ranks Solano County’s excellent COVID-19 Dashboard 3rd among the Bay Area’s 9 counties. He also points out areas for improvement. Read through to the end for Khoury’s call to action. – R.S.]
A ranking of Bay Area Counties’ COVID-19 Dashboards
The link article from the Harvard Business Review discusses Lessons from Italy’s response to Coronavirus. In particular they cite the need for lots of data, the need for micro-scale data, and the need for data standardization. The Bay Area is largely falling flat on all of these fronts. I rank the Bay Area counties’ dashboards below, but really they should all be unified displaying lots of consistent high quality information on all of them. At the bottom of the rankings I tell you how to take action.
These rankings are a tongue in cheek way to motivate / shame counties to improve the state of their information and communication with the public. However ideally the counties would all coordinate with each other and unify their information so that we can see trends across the entire Bay Area.
1st Place Santa Clara County
Santa Clara’s dashboard shot up in the rankings from 6th previously to 1st because it is not just one dashboard it is three. I’ve shown here to the left my favorite of the three, the hospital dashboard. This includes such vital information such as ventilators available and breaks down bed availability into acute beds and ICU beds. The graphs on the righthand side of the dashboard will show evolution of hospital resources over time. Really quality really excellent information.
Two additional asks which would make it even better. Create an API or easy way to download the data. Split the hospitalized patients into age groups like Solano county does.
Solano county promises to have much of the information Sonoma county does but isn’t quite there yet.
The one thing Solano county deserves credit for is separating the cases by age into hospitalized and non-severe. This will be incredibly useful information going forward. I would encourage Solano county to further separate out the 19-64 year old age ranges.
Contra Costa County added information about testing and hospitalizations to their website. They’re also displaying the information as evolving over time which is good. There could be much more information at a finer granularity but its definitely good progress.
San Mateo isn’t really providing much more than a case count and deaths. They do have this broken down by age but unlike the Solano county data the age breakdown doesn’t give me much additional useful information.
The Alameda county website is incredibly flawed because of the “* Numbers exclude City of Berkeley cases.” I mean come on guys this is a local, regional, state, national, and global health emergency and Alameda County and the city of Berkeley can’t coordinate with each other?
I have found that the best way to improve your local county’s dashboard is to start calling your local politicians and to get your friends to call your local politicians. If you do not live in the Bay Area, go to your local county’s COVID-19 website and place it in these rankings. If you find it lacking, demand more information. At a minimum the website should have the information in bold.
Hospital beds available
ICU Beds available
Total number of tests conducted (this counts tests run multiple times on one person)
Total number of test conducted on unique individuals
Total number of tests that were positive for COVID-19
As confirmed cases of COVID-19 surge in other cities in the US, the Bay Area is experiencing an incredibly low rate of new cases by comparison. For example, as of March 30th, New York City has 33,768 confirmed COVID-19 cases while San Francisco has 340 confirmed cases.
We followed up with our UCSF Emergency Room contact; Dr. Nathan Teismann, to ask about current and new COVID-19 cases in his ER, as well as the state of his fellow staff at the hospital, and his colleagues in the greater Bay Area. Dr. Teismann assured us that his ER was still relativity quiet over the weekend, seeing approximately half of the patients it usually sees on a normal weekend. (these figures are consistent with those BAS reported 3.25.20)
Dr Teismann: “Over the weekend, we typically see around 200 patients per day in the ER, and this weekend we saw less than half of that volume, approximately 80-90 people we’re seen on Saturday, about half of those patients came in because of symptoms suspected of being COVID-19.”
When asked about the state of other hospitals in the Bay Area the Doctor replied, “My colleagues at Stanford, as well as at other facilities in San Francisco report much of the same conditions in their hospitals. For now, the rate of new confirmed, infections showing up in Emergency rooms is not unmanageable.”
I asked the doctor if he believed that our early ‘shelter in place policy’ was having an effect, Dr. Teismann replied, “It seems very likely, that the ‘shelter in place’ policy has had a significant, positive effect on containing the spread of COVID-19 in the Bay Area.”
He followed with, “We are obviously not capturing the true prevalence of infected people in the Bay Area, because so many who may have been infected are staying home and therefore will not ever be ‘confirmed’ cases of COVID-19.”
Most of the confirmed cases across the world are confirmed because the patients had severe symptoms, that is why they went to the the hospital in the first place. Since roughly 80% of people with COVID-19 have very mild symptoms, they end up staying home and letting the virus run its course, without adding to the statistics.
The true rate of infections throughout the Bay Area is obviously much higher than can be tested, but severe cases are still low, and as of yet, not growing exponentially like they are in New Orleans or New York. Sheltering in place, seems to be bending the curve of infections in a major way. Nationally of course, we are not fairing as well. Dr. Teismann was quick to warn me that the ‘top of the curve’ is yet to come. He sent me the projected peak of coronavirus patients from the IHME at the University of Washington, which projects that nationally, April 15th will be the beginning of the peak of hospital bed capacity for COVID-19 patients in the USA.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent population health research center at UW Medicine, part of the University of Washington, see all of there projections by visiting: http://covid19.healthdata.org/
What does that mean for you? It means that social distancing and staying home is the right thing to do. By staying home, and restricting your contact with others, also known as ‘social distancing’, is having an incredibly positive effect on ‘flattening the curve’. By preventing the spread of COVID-19 you are quite literally saving lives in your community, and although we are far from the end of this pandemic, take heart that the sacrifices you are making by staying home and not becoming infected, are helping our medical professionals deal with this outbreak immensely.
The good news for San Franciscans
Businesses in SF started limiting service in the second week of March, and the official order to shutter all non-essential businesses in 6 Bay Area counties, and for citizens to shelter in place was given on March 16th, but by then the majority of workers and businesses had already stopped operations. As of today, March 30th, it has been over 14 days since large crowds stopped congregating and the circulation of the virus has been greatly impeded. Since most cases of COVID-19 last around 14 days, if we were going to see a massive surge of infections, the odds are we would have seen them by now in our Emergency rooms. For now, this is good news, we have been incredibly fortunate that our government and business owners acted quickly and decisively to help slow the spread of the virus.
A message from your local healthcare providers
Dr Teismann wanted to add that at USCF there has seen an incredible outpouring of kindness, well wishes and donations from the local community. Everything from free meals from local restaurants delivered to the hospital staff, to artwork made by local elementary school students and hung in the hospital break room. There have been phone calls and well-wishes from patients and neighbors to the hospital, and that positive outpouring has had a wonderful and positive effect on healthcare workers.
Friday, April 3 – record of 12 new cases in a day:
Solano County reported 12 NEW POSITIVE CASES today – total is now 73. No new deaths in Solano County today.
As of today, 51 positive cases were individuals between the ages of 19 and 64 (70% of the total), and 22 were 65 were older, (30% of the total). 33 of these are active cases (10 more than yesterday), and 22 of the total cases have resulted in hospitalizations (same as yesterday). The first reported case in Solano County was in Vacaville in February, which was also the first reported case in the United States of someone contracting the virus without having traveled abroad or knowingly come into contact with someone who tested positive.
Check out basic information in the screenshots here on Benicia Independent. IMPORTANT:Note the County’s interactive page has more. On the County website, you can click on “Number of cases” and then hover over the charts for detailed information.
Solano’s steep upward curve
The chart at right gives a clear picture of the infection’s trajectory in Solano County. Our coronavirus curve is on a steep upward trajectory!
Everyone stay home and be safe!
Solano staff refuses to divulge WHERE in the County the positive cases reside.