Tag Archives: Solano County Health Officer Bela Matyas

Solano’s 3 new COVID deaths not new – County is updating records

Solano reports 3 more Covid-related deaths, but from past months

Fairfield Daily Reporter, By Todd R. Hansen, September 24, 2020

FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s Covid-19 death total rose Wednesday to 60, but the three deaths actually occurred in May, June and July.

Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County Public Health Officer

Dr. Bela Matyas, the county public health officer, said the Public Health Division is conducting an audit of its records in comparison to death certificates and that is when the discrepancy was found.

“We knew they were Covid-positive, but we didn’t know they died (because) they died at home and there was no autopsy,” Matyas said.

He noted, again, that all Covid-related deaths are recorded in those terms because the virus is present even if it is not the primary cause of the death, or in some cases, not even a contributing cause.

“So what we are trying to do is reconcile the number of deaths with the death certificates,” he said.

Matyas said he expects more to be uncovered as the survey continues.

More troubling to the county moving forward was the 38 new confirmed cases reported Wednesday.

The county needs to be closer to 18 new daily cases in order to move into the orange tier from the red tier, a step that will ease more restrictions on businesses that are open and allow even more businesses and community activities to restart.

Solano County was in the most-restrictive purple tier in the state’s color-coded monitoring system until Tuesday, meaning there was widespread transmission of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19. The red tier represents substantial transmission of the virus, while the orange tier represents moderate spread of the virus and the yellow tier indicates minimal transmission.

The state puts the county’s daily case average at 28 because it uses a slightly different reporting structure than the county’s approach of using the day of testing.

Still, Matyas said it will be a challenge for the county to knock the average down by 10 cases per day, especially if there are any more care facility outbreaks.

The other critical piece is the seven-day positivity testing rate, which as of Wednesday was 3.3%, comfortably below the high end of the orange tier allowance of 4.9%.

The total number of cases in Solano County rose to 6,232.

The deaths are up to 60, with hospitalizations climbing from 20 Tuesday to 22 Wednesday and active cases increasing from 220 to 244, the county reported.

Fairfield, after a day with no new cases reported, added 13 to its total, now at 2,035. Vallejo added 10 to reach 2,060, while nine new cases in Vacaville took that city’s count to 1,043.

There were two cases added to Rio Vista’s tally, which is reported at 47, and one in Benicia, with a new total of 164 cases. There were no new cases reported in Dixon (453) or in the unincorporated area of the county, which has 22 cases.

The number of completed tests was reported at 85,685, up 335 over Tuesday’s update.  [continued]

Solano County press release: Loosening some COVID restrictions, “…best defense is to continue with the safety protocols”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 22, 2020

  • News Contacts:
    Matthew A. Davis, Sr. Management Analyst and Public Communications Officer (707) 784-6111 and MADavis@SolanoCounty.com (AND)
  • Jayleen Richards, Public Health Administrator, Health and Social Services Department (707) 784-8616 and JMRichards@SolanoCounty.com

State moves Solano County into red tier (Tier 2) on COVID-19 framework; allows businesses to reopen some additional indoor activities with modifications

SOLANO COUNTY – The California Department of Public Health announced today that Solano County has been moved into the red tier (Tier 2) on the state’s COVID-19 response framework, allowing for more local businesses and activities to resume some additional indoor activities, with modifications.

“Solano County has made progress in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in our community,” says Bela T. Matyas, M.D., M.P.H., Solano County Health Officer. “As more businesses reopen, we all need to do our part to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 infection, and our best defense is to continue with the safety protocols—wear a mask, watch your distance and wash your hands.”

Before the move today, the State had placed Solano County in the most restrictive tier; Tier 1, the purple tier, where COVID-19 infection rates are considered “widespread,” and many indoor businesses operations remained closed or with limited capacity. The transition into Tier 2, the red tier, allows for more business with indoor operations to increase capacity. Businesses need to continue to adhere to the State’s Industry Guidance for social distancing best practices to help protect employees, customers and the community to continue to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 infection.

MOVING INTO TIER 2 (RED) ALLOWS:
  • Restaurants indoor dining (max 25% capacity of facility or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
  • All retail indoors (max 50% capacity of facility)
  • Shopping centers, swap meets indoors (max 50% capacity of facility, closed common areas)
  • Personal care services – hair and nail salons, barbershops (open with modifications)
  • Museums, zoos and aquariums (max 25% capacity of facility)
  • Places of worship (max 25% capacity of facility or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
  • Movie theaters indoors (max 25% capacity of facility or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
  • Gyms and fitness centers indoors (max 10% capacity of facility)
BUSINESSES MUST STILL IMPLEMENT STATE-MANDATED INDUSTRY GUIDANCE:

Prior to opening under Tier 2, all businesses must review the Solano County Health Order, complete a State COVID-19 general checklist and ensure a written plan is on file and available for public review. Information and resources on Guidance for Industries is available on the Solano County website at www.SolanoCounty.com/COVID19.

WHAT CAN HAPPEN OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS

If Solano County continues to make progress in preventing COVID-19 transmission, additional business sectors and indoor activities can progressively begin to open, with modifications, within the next three weeks, per the State’s Industry Guidelines. If the County’s COVID-19 metrics worsen, the County would be directed to revert to a more restrictive tier as soon as two weeks from today. Per state regulations, K-12 schools can reopen to classroom-based learning with COVID-19 modifications after two weeks of the County in Tier 2, providing there is no new surge in COVID-19 infections.

FREE COVID-19 TESTING FOR ANYONE IN SOLANO COUNTY

As more businesses begin to reopen, remember that you can be tested for COVID-19 for free, regardless of symptoms. Same-day appointments are available. Sign up at www.Lhi.Care/CovidTesting and/or by calling (888) 634-1123.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To find the status of activities in the County, visit https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/.
For more information about COVID-19 in Solano County, visit www.SolanoCounty.com/COVID19 or call the Coronavirus Warmline at (707) 784-8988, email COVID19@SolanoCounty.com and on Public Health’s Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/SolanoCountyPH (@SolanoCountyPH).

SOLANO COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH

675 Texas St., Suite 6500, Fairfield, CA 94533
fax (707) 784-7975   *   www.solanocounty.com

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Dr. Matyas: details on 3 new COVID deaths, “The surge is real.”

Covid-19 claims 3 more lives in Solano

Fairfield Daily Republic, by Todd R. Hansen, July 20, 2020
Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County Public Health Officer

FAIRFIELD — Three more Solano County residents died due at least in part to Covid-19, the county Public Health Division reported Monday.

The deaths bring the total to 34.

Dr. Bela Matyas, the county public health officer, said one of the deaths was an individual older than 65 who had been in an intensive care unit for more than a month with respiratory problems, including Covid-19.

The others were between 19 and 45 and between 45 and 64, respectively, and each had “significant” underlying health issues, Matyas said.

Matyas said he could not think of any of the county’s Covid-19 fatalities who did not have some kind of health issue that contributed to their deaths.

Many of those individuals were exposed to the disease by younger members of their families or younger friends.

Matyas reported that 53% of the 2,759 cases – or 1,462 cases – are directly linked to family socialization, and another 19% are categorized as “community transmissions,” which the county could not link directly to one person or group.

Another 12% are linked to workplace contacts, Matyas said.

The news comes on a day on which other critical novel coronavirus statistics eased a bit.

While the number of hospitalizations increased to 53, active cases decreased by 146 to 247 and the seven-day positivity testing rate fell from 9.1% Friday to 7.9% Monday, the county reported.

Matyas remained concerned about the hospital data, but added he thought the Fourth of July surge was waning.

The overall number of cases spiked to 2,759, up 205 over Friday afternoon’s report.

“We are still averaging about 70 to 80 cases a day, so the surge is continuing,” Matyas said.

The numbers prove the increases are not simply due to more testing, he said.

“The surge is real,” Matyas said.

The county plans to begin a campaign to further inform residents about the direct link between Covid-19 cases and social gatherings.

Testing reached 44,267, which is 2,769 more than reported Friday.

Vallejo experienced a spike of 82 cases to bring its total to 921, while Fairfield added 63 cases to reach 944, the county reported.

Vacaville went from 420 cases to 453; Suisun City went from 193 to 205; and Dixon went from 135 to 145. Benicia added two cases to bring its count to 57, while Rio Vista added two cases to reach 25.

The unincorporated area of the county has nine cases, up one from Friday’s report.  […continued…]

Dr. Matyas on COVID-19 closures in Solano County: “We continue to see a surge…”

State orders Solano churches, malls other businesses to close, again

Fairfield Daily Republic, by Todd R. Hansen, July 14, 2020
The Solano Town Center was closed Monday on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order to close certain businesses again because of Covid-19. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

FAIRFIELD — The state on Monday ordered Solano and 28 other counties on its watch list to close places of worship, malls and a number of other business sectors due to the rise in hospitalizations and other Covid-19 concerns.

Covid-19 is responsible for more than 135,000 deaths in the country and more than 7,000 in California, Johns Hopkins University reported.

Solano County Public Health reported Monday that the number of deaths at least partially attributable to Covid-19 rose by three to 31 over the weekend.

“The fatalities are all elderly individuals (who) were exposed by family at social gatherings,”  Dr. Bela Matyas , Solano County public health officer, said Monday in a phone interview.

Matyas also said the number of current hospitalizations is 47, up from 40 over the weekend. The county’s online report initially had the number holding at 40.

“We continue to see a surge in the number of new cases across the county, including a rise in positivity rates, hospitalizations and fatalities,” Matyas said in the statement announcing the health order change.

Matyas once again urged Solano County residents to take precautions to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

“While it may be difficult, especially during the summer, we strongly urge all Solano County residents to limit or avoid in-person gatherings, as we know the recent rise in Covid-19 cases is due to families and friends getting together with people outside their households and infecting each other, which can be especially dangerous when transmitted to high-risk individuals,” Matyas added in the statement.

Since the county’s Friday afternoon update, Solano added 144 more Covid-19 cases to bring the total to 2,219, but experienced a decrease in active cases, from 435 to 301, which is explained, in part, by the fact so many had become sick at the same time and are now past the infectious stage at the same time. Hospitalizations reported since the beginning of the outbreak was listed at 114.

The county released its amended health order Monday evening to reflect the state order. But hours before that, the Solano Town Center mall had already locked its doors.

In addition to churches and malls, also ordered closed by the state are nail and hair salons, fitness centers, personal care establishments such as tattoo parlors, and some offices.

Gov. Gavin Newsom noted in his comments that over the previous 14 days, hospitalizations in the state had risen by 28% and intensive care admissions are up 20%.

However, those rate increases are actually slower compared to the rate for the prior two-week period, the state reported.

The positive rate for Covid-19 testing, according to the state, is up to 7.7% over the past seven days.

Fairfield as of Monday afternoon added 45 confirmed cases since Friday for a total of 765; Vallejo added 41 for a total of 747; Vacaville added 34 for a total of 354; Suisun City added 18 for a total of 160; Dixon added four for a total of 122; Benicia added one for a total of 41; and Rio Vista added one for a total of 22…. [continued]